The Obama Administration announced today a new effort that could generate millions dollars in energy savings for American families and cut millions of tons of CO2 from out atmosphere:
Building on the action by the U.S. House of Representatives in passing historic legislation that will pave the way for the transition to a clean energy economy, President Barack Obama and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced aggressive actions to promote energy efficiency and save American consumers billions of dollars per year. Today's announcement underscores how the clean energy revolution not only makes environmental sense, but it also makes economic sense - creating jobs and saving money.
"One of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to make our economy stronger and cleaner is to make our economy more energy efficient," said President Obama. "That's why we made energy efficiency investments a focal point of the Recovery Act. And that's why today's announcements are so important. By bringing more energy efficient technologies to American homes and businesses, we won't just significantly reduce our energy demand; we'll put more money back in the pockets of hardworking Americans."
"When it comes to saving money and growing our economy, energy efficiency isn't just low hanging fruit; it's fruit laying on the ground," said Secretary Chu. "The most prosperous, competitive economies of the 21st century will be those that use energy efficiently. It's time for America to lead the way."
1Sky is relieved by the House of Representative’s passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454). 1Sky’s Campaign Director Gillian Caldwell said: "Thousands of activists across the country made a difference improving the bill and in securing this vote...
The House of Representatives just passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) this evening by a vote of 219 to 212. This bill has narrowly passed this hurdle and we will redouble our efforts to strengthen it even more in the Senate. Watch this video for more details about what we have accomplished and where we go from here, or take a look at our press release.
A few minutes ago I posted this press release in which we state our support for passing the Waxman-Markey clean energy and climate bill. Here's an excerpt:
This is a significant moment in history: The House of Representatives is poised to pass its first legislation to limit global warming pollution. While this bill is much weaker than what we need to tackle global warming, it is a first step and we must take it. We urge Members to vote for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) because this bill will impose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas pollution. The Waxman/Markey bill also sets the first national renewable electricity and efficiency standards for utilities, and it substantially improves efficiency standards for buildings and appliances. This bill can create millions of green jobs for Americans. And passing this bill will give us the opportunity to keep fighting to strengthen it and give President Obama a needed signal to bring to the international climate talks in Copenhagen in December. The eyes of the world are watching.
It’s finally voting day! The House is indeed expected to vote today on ACES, around 5pm. Things are constantly changing, so I’ll keep this short, and focus on some of what’s been happening over the last 24 hours in climate bill land.
Wonk Room has the schedule for today as such:
In just a few hours, the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill goes to the House Floor for a vote. Our policy fellows just did a rapid review of the 300 page Manager’s Amendment on the Waxman-Markey’s bill, and are reporting out a DRAFT summary of its contents (PDF).
On balance, we were pleased to see a number of key strengthening amendments in the areas of renewable energy and worker transition, and we have been urged to take credit for our strong collective efforts to improve the bill. As our allies at Green For All just wrote when it comes to low income communities:
Now, the bill provides opportunity for low-income communities and communities of color. Now, there are protections in the bill that ensure that working families don't bear the cost for big polluters. Now, there is significant funding for green job training programs that build pathways out of poverty. And now, these good jobs will be accessible to low-income and local workers.
In addition, there are important new funds available for renewable energy.
We also want to highlight some important improvements in the bill thanks to the efforts of 1Sky and so many of our close allies who fought hard to improve the bill. Read the draft summary (PDF) for the highlights. On the downside, see the summary on what agro-business exacted.
We still have a long way to go to get where we need to be, but today is an important first step and we should take it. We must pass the bill off the House floor. We are strongly urging a YES for all strengthening amendments, a YES for passage, and a NO for weakening. We have been hitting our lists and phone banking and our website just crashed because thousands of people were trying to access it simultaneously to make calls and send faxes -- but the site is back up and we are swinging!
The Waxman Markey bill -- H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act -- is up for a vote today in the House of Representatives, and the votes might not be there to pass it. That's why we need you to make a very important call this morning to your representative, and urge them to vote to pass the bill.
Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (and former 1Sky board member!) demonstrates in this video that weatherizing homes will be a major source of jobs. Check it out:
Earlier today, President Obama urged the House to pass H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The President's remarks are not yet online but I'll link to them when they are. Here's an excerpt:
The energy bill before the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation in our economy. It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy – everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings, like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs.
By now you probably know that we expect a vote on the clean energy bill this Friday. It looks like there is progress on at least one (and possibly more) provisions to strengthen the bill.
We’ve heard that Reps. Dina Titus (NV-3), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8), and Martin Heinrich (NM-1) will offer an amendment that will extend the limit to 20 years for acquisition of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource for the federal government. The Titus/Giffords/Heinrich provision would require allocation of $4 billion- $2 billion for the score of extension of power purchase agreements, and $2 billion for the procurement of further renewables and efficiency. Additionally, the amendment establishes a renewable energy standard for federal agencies that is consistent with the RES that is established for utility companies in the underlying bill. This means more energy savings!
We will be working to help pass the Titus/Giffords/Heinrich amendment, and the American Clean Energy and Security Act. We’ve also heard that President Barack Obama is working the House energy bill, trying to win votes for passage Hawaii style, he is having a luau for the lawmakers and the announced plans are that he will be lobbying members to pass the energy bill.