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CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

The Broken Record (4/23):
The Day Ahead in Clean Energy

Washington, D.C.—It didn’t take long before the defenders of dirty energy started sounding like a broken record during yesterday’s action-packed day of hearings on the Waxman-Markey clean energy plans.  They trotted all the canards, smears, and discredited attacks that have become so familiar—and then they came up with a few a new ones. Check out yesterday’s end of the day roundup for the lowlights. The clean energy champions on the committee and the administration officials who appeared yesterday—EPA Administration Jackson, Energy Secretary Chu, and Transportation Secretary LaHood—all deserve major kudos for turning in strong performances yesterday.

We’ll continue to catalogue the good, the bad, and the ugly all day today over at Compass.  Today, the Energy & Environment Subcommittee of the Energy & Commerce Committee will hear from panels on three issues:
 Allocation policies to assist consumers
 Ensuring U.S. competitiveness and international participation
 Low carbon electricity, carbon capture and storage, renewables, and grid modernization

Yesterday’s Lowlight:
Rep. Shimkus (R-IL) Says Clean Energy Jobs Plan is Worse than Wars, Terrorist Attacks: An angry Rep. Shimkus denounced the bill as the "biggest assault on freedom and democracy" that he's lived through.  He went on to say it was worse than both the Iraq and and Afghanistan wars, as well as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Yesterday’s Highlight:
After one his tirades against the bill, Rep. Shimkus said that he and all the other Members who cared about jobs would be working to defeat the bill. When the floor subsequently returned to Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH), a growing champion for clean energy, she said “I am not somebody who is going to try and defeat this bill.  I want jobs!”

Today’s Three Quick Facts:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions (FERC) Chief Says We Won’t Need More Nukes, Coal: While many of the members of the committee were fixated on getting more money for nukes and coal yesterday, one of the nation’s top energy regulators begs to differ.  Speaking to the U.S Energy Association yesterday, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said of new coal or nuclear plants: “We may not need any, ever. I think baseload capacity is going to be an anachronism.”
  •  Every State, Region Can Meet Renewable Electricity Standard: Many Members, particularly those from the Southeast, continue to insist that their states cannot meet the 25 percent by 2025 Renewable Electricity Standard in the clean energy jobs plan—even though Chu and Jackson affirmed the requirement’s feasibility over and over during questioning.  As Rep. Castor (D-FL) joked, she thought it was ironic that her Sunshine State was not getting more of its energy from the sun because it’s more than capable of doing so.  She’s right—The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has a detailed analysis demonstrating that every state in the Southeast is more than capable of meeting such an RES.
  • A Renewable Electricity Standard Will Create Jobs, Save Consumers Money: Yesterday, Rep. Matsui (D-CA) called the RES the “economic engine of the future.”  She’s right, the Union of Concerned Scientists tells us that enacting a 25 percent by 2025 Renewable Electricity Standard would create 297,000 jobs.  It would also mean $64.3 billion in lower electricity and natural gas bills by 2025 (growing to $95.5 billion by 2030).  Finally, it would also result in $263.4 billion in new capital investment; $13.5 billion in income to farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners; and $11.5 billion in new local tax revenues.

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