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Green America Recognizes the House Passage of ACES as a First Step, Seeks Strengthened Bill in the Senate
WASHINGTON - June 29 - Green America recognizes the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) as an important step forward towards the comprehensive approach needed to reduce climate emissions and increase clean energy usage in the United States.
As the Senate takes up its version of this legislation, Green America, on behalf of its 120,000 individual and 5,000 business members, calls on Senators to build on the work of the House and strengthen the legislation to create accelerated reductions in carbon emissions, a faster phase out of dirty coal plants, and greater funding of clean energy sources.
The ACES bill, the first climate change bill to reach the Congress, makes legislative history. While US action on climate change is decades late and more action is needed, the bill’s passage is an important first step. Key elements of the bill include:
- Clean energy: promoting renewable energy, low-carbon transportation fuels, electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission;
- Energy efficiency: increasing energy efficiency across all sectors: buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry;
- Global warming targets: placing limits on emissions of heat-trapping pollutants with a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050;
- Economic transitioning: protecting U.S. consumers, and promoting green jobs during the transition to a clean green economy.
Green America strongly encourages the Senate to strengthen the bill through:
- Greater funding and a faster timetable for a transition to clean energy sources, particularly solar and wind, which will reduce carbon emissions and increase green jobs.
- Retain or expand the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to clean up dirty coal plants.
- Reduce allocations for polluting companies. Polluters need to pay for their pollution in order to fund increased investment in clean energy and green jobs.
- Greenhouse gas emissions caps should be set that achieve a 25% reduction below 2005 levels by the year 2020.
- Nuclear power needs to be excluded as a clean energy source. Nuclear power is low-carbon, but with environmentally damaging uranium mining, radioactive waste, proliferation potential and safety hazards, it is not clean energy.
"The world needs real U.S. climate leadership. ACES is a start, but we have a long way to go for legislation that addresses the scale and scope of the climate crisis. The progress we’ve made so far has resulted from tens of thousands of citizens and businesses nationwide calling for action on climate change that meets the scale of the problem," said Todd Larsen, Green America's Director of Corporate Responsibility. "We look to the Senate to really step up to the plate. The future of our economy and our society hangs in the balance."
House passage of ACES is a first step toward building US political will to address climate change and this win opens the door for the Senate to strengthen the legislation. Strong US action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to invest in renewable energy will be crucial to the global movement addressing climate change and to the success of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December of this year.