June 29, 2010
On June 26 the House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) – also known as the climate bill or the Waxman-Markey bill, after its sponsors. Some organizations have heralded this legislation as an historic move to address climate change and build the green economy, calling it a pragmatic solution. Others have voiced serious concern that the bill has been compromised and so watered down that it will actually set back progress on climate change and a green energy economy.
There are compelling arguments on both sides, and now as the bill goes to the Senate we want to know what you think.
Here is what CLEAN says:
The Waxman-Markey bill falls far short of the policies needed to make the transition from a dirty energy economy to a clean energy economy. The American Clean Energy and Security Act has been compromised, weakened and hijacked by coal and utility special interests and our representatives have allowed it to happen. Our most powerful tool for fighting against this bill is our collective voices. Please make sure yours is heard. Help stop this bill!
Here is what the Environmental Defense Action Fund is saying:
If the planet is to avoid the catastrophic threat of run-away global warming, we have to act now. We must come together to support the strongest possible bill and get it passed. We just don’t have time to waste here.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act is a strong bill (see our summary of the bill).
Is it everything we would want? Of course not, but you don’t pass legislation in a vacuum. You must work with many interests and constituents and find common ground. That is how all legislation moves through Congress.
Here is what the Union of Concerned Scientists is saying:
[ACES is] a bill that could set us on the path toward curbing global warming, reducing our dependence on oil, and putting Americans back to work. Unfortunately, the bill is in danger of falling victim to climate skeptics, big oil, and other fossil fuel special interests. In the next few days, the full House will consider this critical legislation—and this is our opportunity to not only prevent efforts to weaken the bill, but also strengthen key provisions.
While the current bill establishes an important first step toward a clean energy economy, we must ensure the final version maximizes consumer savings and clean energy job creation by strengthening energy efficiency and renewable electricity elements.
The vote is drawing near. Call today to urge your representative to vote to strengthen and pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
Here is what Repower America has said:
In the next day or so, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the boldest effort in our history to rethink how we produce and use energy in this country.
Some of the smartest ideas on energy and climate — ones that have been aired by countless hearings in our Capitol over the last two decades — are finally getting their due in this bill. And it’s deserving of our strongest support.
And here is what Greenpeace has said:
Since the Waxman-Markey bill left the Energy and Commerce committee, yet another fleet of industry lobbysists has weakened the bill even more, and further widened the gap between what Waxman-Markey does and what science demands. As a result, Greenpeace opposes this bill in its current form. We are calling upon Congress to vote against this bill unless substantial measures are taken to strengthen it. Despite President Obama’s assurance that he would enact strong, science-based legislation, we are now watching him put his full support behind a bill that chooses politics over science, elevates industry interests over national interest, and shows the significant limitations of what this Congress believes is possible.
Now it’s your turn.
Tell us what you think. What do you think of the Congress’s vote? How should the Senate work with the bill? What have you expressed to Congressman Walden? What kind of climate change and renewable energy policy would you like to see? Click here for our online feedback form.
Your answers will help inform Oregon Rural Action’s work on addressing climate change, building a sustainable energy economy, and holding our elected officials accountable.
And if this issue concerns you one way or the other, don’t forget to weigh in with your thoughts to Congressman Walden or the appropriate congressperson if you live outside of Oregon’s second district. (Click here to find the relevant contact information.)