We already discussed this on the blog earlier this week, but it's worth mentioning here again since 1Sky is about federal solutions, after all. Two prominent House Democrats introduced climate legislation this week—and unfortunately, it falls short of what we'd call 'bold climate action':
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Energy and Air Quality subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-Va.) released a 461-page bill that seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 80 percent over the next four decades. Environmental groups welcomed that target, but criticized the bill, which Dingell and Boucher refer to as a “discussion draft,” for delaying dramatic emissions reductions until after 2020.
The long-awaited legislation relies on a so-called cap-and-trade program to make those reductions. Companies would be able to buy or sell emissions allowances on an open market, depending on whether they met or exceeded emissions caps set by federal regulators.
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Tony Kreindler, a spokesman for Environmental Defense Fund, said the initial emissions cuts called for in the bill are too gradual. Polluters would only have to reduce emissions by 6 percent over 2005 levels by 2020, a much less aggressive target than the climate change bill the Senate debated earlier this summer.
“The short-term targets really tell people out in the marketplace that they need to get going,” Kreindler said.
Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, noted in an e-mail to reporters that the discussion draft includes the option for federal preemption, something that the liberal elements of the Democratic Party and environmental groups have opposed. The bill could block California and other states from going forward with ongoing efforts to cut carbon dioxide from tailpipe emissions, which Dingell, a big backer of the auto industry, has opposed.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Read Van Jones’ new book, The Green Collar Economy. Learn more about ways to improve the economy as well as the environment and help get Van’s book on the NY Times Bestseller list. Our friends at It's Getting Hot in Here report:
I wrote a new book to propose elegant solutions for our economic and environmental crises. The Green Collar Economy offers a green cure for the dilemmas we face and the financial messes we are in.
At this point, I am willing to concede that Wall Street and the big bankers need some propping up. But while we are at it, we should find a way to bail out the little people — and the planet, too.
So how about a green bailout — to help both? We already took an important step in that direction today. Perhaps the only thing in the whole bailout package that is inarguably good is the support for the U.S. clean energy sector.
The following is a guest post from Geraldine Carter, Co-Founder and Director of Brita Climate Ride, a multi-day bicycle ride to raise money and awareness of climate change. Riders biked from New York to Washington DC from September 20-24. 1Sky was a partner in this effort: Board President Betsy Taylor and CCAN Director Mike Tidwell spoke at different stops, while Internet Director Michael Silberman participated in the ride. Click here for more details.
The Brita Climate Ride was charmed. With a send off by actor Matthew Modine and a spot on the CBS Early Show, riders were excited and inspired for their 300 mile journey to Washington. We set off from New York City with a stunning ferry ride, quickly leaving the Manhattan skyline behind us, with views of Lady Liberty to remind us of what it means to be an American. The first two hours of our trip were very unlike any other bike ride most of us have experienced (check out the short video below).
You guys are unbelievable! Thanks to you, we raised enough money -- in less than 24 hours -- to air 1Sky's ad on the evening of last Tuesday's presidential debate. We had never asked for contributions before, so we had no idea if we'd even come close to our goal. You proved once again that when we work together to show our leaders we're ready for bold climate solutions, we can make a real difference.
Thanks to you, we were able to air the ad on CNN and MSNBC, in 14 battleground states. Now, let's do it again! Can you contribute to get our demand for solutions back on the air on the eve of next Wednesday's debate? Please make a donation today.
Yesterday, two powerful House Democrats introduced a new climate bill that is substantially weaker than climate change legislation released in the last year. Rep John Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) have been promising a bill for quite some time, and have spent much of the last Congress discussing various aspects of a climate bill in detailed white papers.
This is the first post by Bob Lyon, 1Sky's Development Coordinator. -- Luis
In just over 12 hours, concerned climate activists like you have donated over $10,000 of the $20,000 we need to show the 1Sky ad during coverage of tonight's debate. Thanks to all of you who contributed and helped spread the word! The 30-second video created by Nikos Spiridakis, a ten-year-old filmmaker and climate activist, reveals a common fear for all of us: What will our future look like if we don't act now (see embeded video below).
We're already halfway there—the ad will air tonight in selected markets on CNN and MSNBC—but we still need your help. Make a contribution now to help make our voices heard. We're at a critical time when we need to ensure both presidential candidates and the American public understand the importance of climate change. You can help us put climate change at the center of the presidential campaign and move people to demand bold climate action.
Van Jones' first book, The Green Collar Economy, hits the shelves today at a bookstore near you. Since the subtitle of Van's book is "How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems," in light of recent events his book couldn't be more timely. Clearly, we're facing both an economic and a climate crisis. And while the economic crisis may have its roots in the housing bubble, it's definitely aggravated by skyrocketing energy prices and a dirty fossil fuel dependence that crushes innovation and our ability to create good jobs that can't be shipped overseas. It's the same dirty fossil fuel dependence that lies at the root of our climate crisis. If we're going to solve both crises in our lifetimes, switching to a green-collar economy is the way to go.
Renewable energy businesses are breathing a sigh of relief today as the extension of the production and investment tax credits that benefit their industries were approved by Congress as part of the $700 billion bail-out package for the financial industry.
The House of Representatives passed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, this afternoon by a vote of 263 to 171, and less than two hours later, President George W. Bush signed it into law. The Senate passed it on Wednesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said that she is "pleased that the bill includes an extension of tax cuts for clean renewable energy that will create and save half a million good-paying paying jobs in America immediately."
"This was a part of our energy bill last year; it did not survive the Senate. It now has become a part of this legislation. And it is paid for. We fought hard to include these critical tax cuts ... because they are central to job creation," Pelosi said.
The tax credit package will extend the renewable energy production tax credit for one year and the investment tax credit for eight years. The extensions will be partly paid for by a change in the tax code for the oil and gas industry.
After two months of solid organizing, dozens of strategy sessions, late-night phone calls and nearly 700 events planned in all 50 states, the verdict is in: Green Jobs Now was a phenomenal success! The conversation has turned to next steps: now that we’ve all stood up and voiced our demand for green jobs in our communities, where do we go from here?