FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2009
Draft Clean Energy Bill Offers Strong Start for Green Economy
Washington, D.C.—The House Energy & Commerce Committee today unveiled the initial draft of a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill.
Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director
"The Waxman-Markey draft bill is a strong start and is testament to their decades of leadership on clean energy and other environmental issues. We look forward to working with them and other members of the Energy & Commerce Committee in order to flesh out the remaining details and move the strongest possible bill to the House floor.
"Passing a comprehensive clean energy bill that holds polluters accountable for their global warming pollution will fuel innovation, revitalize our economy with millions of new green jobs, and move America toward energy independence. This bill combines the right mix of policies and the long-term vision necessary to build the green economy that will pull us out of the current economic crisis.
"The consensus for bold action to fight global warming and repower America with clean energy has never been stronger. The wide array of supporters lining up behind this proposal demonstrates that Congress is ready, willing, and able to meet our energy and economic challenges head on.
"The economic recovery package and the budget both provide enormously important down payments on the bold action needed to build the clean energy economy. Taking up this bill is the next step Congress can take as it helps President Obama implement the sweeping agenda for change endorsed by millions of Americans last November.
"As climate negotiators meet in earnest in preparation for Copenhagen, it is clear that Congress is also ready to take the action needed to empower the Obama administration as it undertakes these crucial negotiations.
"Time and again, those who oppose taking strong action on global warming ignore the true cost of inaction and the real benefits of this effort—holding polluters accountable while investing in clean energy will renew our economy and create new jobs while protecting our environment for future generations. We simply can no longer afford an energy system that takes from consumers in order to pad the pockets of polluters and hostile foreign regimes."