Green America Recognizes the House Passage of ACES as a First Step, Seeks Strengthened Bill in the Senate

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or landerson@hastingsgroup.com.

Green America Recognizes the House Passage of ACES as a First Step, Seeks Strengthened Bill in the Senate

WASHINGTON - 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.

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Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982 and known until January 1, 2009 as "Co-op America."  Green America’s mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

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