Environment Colorado applauds Representative DeGette for voting today to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) through the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The bill, which passed by a vote of 33-25, would set the first ever federal limits on global warming pollution and move America toward clean energy.
“This bill fires the starting gun in the race to build America’s new energy economy and solve global warming,” said Keith Hay, energy advocate for Environment Colorado. “We applaud Representative DeGette for voting for the bill. She’s seen that here in Colorado the new energy economy has put people back to work while we cut pollution. This bill begins to lay the groundwork for a national new energy future powered by the wind and sun – energy sources that won’t run out, don’t harm our environment, and will only grow cheaper over time.”
The bill will reduce U.S. global warming emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent by 2050. In addition, the bill commits the United States to achieving additional emission reductions through agreements to prevent deforestation. The bill will establish strong minimum targets for commercial and residential building codes of 30 percent energy savings starting in 2010 and 50 percent savings for residential buildings starting in 2014 and for commercial buildings in 2015. These improved building standards will save consumers $25 billion a year by 2030. And the bill will provide money to state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“Unfortunately, Big Oil, Dirty Coal, and other polluters want to continue their stranglehold on our economy. America, and the Congress, can and must do better to unleash the potential of clean energy to transform our economy, put millions of Americans back to work, and solve global warming,” said Hay.
Continuing America’s green economic recovery depends on expanding investments in energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. The renewable electricity standard in the bill that was passed today will not require the nation to use more renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, than will be achieve through state standards, like Colorado’s, and through investments from the economic recovery bill passed earlier this year. In addition, the bill allows global warming polluters to purchase offsets rather than reduce their own pollution, which will result in less-certain emission reductions and delay the transition to cleaner technology. The bill also largely fails to require polluters to pay for their pollution.
“Now is the time for bold and meaningful action on clean energy and global warming. We look forward to working with Congress to strengthen and pass the America Clean Energy and Security Act,” concluded Hay.