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?
This week, Stephen Colbert aired a parody on Big Oil’s greenwashing campaign. But like any good parody, there is some truth behind the comedy. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Colbert was hired to help produce some of the advertisements for big oil. Think Progresses’ Wonk Room reports:
The fossil-fuel industry is on track to spend one billion dollars this year propagandizing oil, coal and natural gas. As the Public Campaign Action Fund found, “In the first half of 2008, the major industry players, American Petroleum Institute, BP, Chevron Texaco, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil, Hess Corporation, and Royal Dutch Shell, spent $92.2 million on broadcast and cable advertising; $14.9 million on radio advertising; $57.5 million on print advertising in magazines and newspapers; $5.3 million on Internet advertising; and $4.0 million on other media.”
Yesterday, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, received a letter (PDF) with 152 Congressional Member signatures urging her to continue her leadership role on climate change matters by supporting legislation that is guided by a set of principles aimed at achieving four key goals:
Reduce emissions to avoid dangerous global warming in line with what the science requires;
Transition America to a clean energy economy;
Recognize and minimize any economic impacts from global warming legislation; and
Aid communities and ecosystems vulnerable to harm from global warming.
At the very time that Wall Street financiers are staggering around dazed and confused in the rubble of a smoke-and-mirrors game gone terribly awry, the oil industry and its political allies are selling Americans another sub-prime investment.
If our goal as a species is to reduce greenhouse gases in order to tackle global warming, we're definitely behind the eight-ball. A new study reveals that worldwide carbon emissions increased last year, and scientists are scared:
The world pumped up its pollution of the chief man-made global warming gas last year, setting a course that could push beyond leading scientists' projected worst-case scenario, international researchers said Thursday.
The new numbers, called "scary" by some, were a surprise because scientists thought an economic downturn would slow energy use. Instead, carbon dioxide output jumped 3 percent from 2006 to 2007.
That's an amount that exceeds the most dire outlook for emissions from burning coal and oil and related activities as projected by a Nobel Prize-winning group of international scientists in 2007.
There's sadness across the environmental movement this week, as we mourn the untimely passing of Phil Clapp. You may have already seen David Sassoon's moving post on Phil's life and the many contributions he made to environmental protection, but if you haven't it's worth a read.
On September 27th Newt Gingrich's lobby, American Solutions for Winning the Future, are launching a campaign to continue the our dependence on fossil fuels. Now is the time to combat this action with the Green Jobs Now action. Brad from the Wonk Room has gotten his hands on Gingrich's organizing tool (PDF)--check it out:
“Solutions Day” should really be called Pollution Day. The game plan recommends that volunteers to “invite local elected officials” and reach out to “key, state-level bloggers,” and “taxpayer groups, such as Americans for Prosperity” to gather people at “workshops” listening to Newt Gingrich speak (webcast, DISH Network—219, and Direct TV – Channel 577). Americans for Prosperity, as readers of the Wonk Room know, is yet another fossil-fueled right-wing front group.
Twenty-one organizations representing millions of Americans—including 1Sky and several allies—delivered a letter yesterday to all 100 U.S. senators, stating their opposition to the the New Energy Reform Act of 2008, an energy bill co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators who call themselves the "Gang of 20." As the letter makes abundantly clear, this is another flawed piece of energy legislation that fails to address our oil addiction or move us towards a clean economy. You may remember that the Senate has started to build something of a record when it comes to bad energy and climate bills—and the "New ERA" (don't you just love those clever Washington acronyms?) looks no more promising. Here's an excerpt from the letter, and I've pasted the full text below for your reading pleasure:
The New Energy Reform Act provides neither “new” solutions nor real “reform.” The legislation fails to strike the balance we need to address rising energy costs, global warming and our continued dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Rather, it provides a wish list of polluting energy giveaways coupled with a disappointingly thin proposal for renewable energy and energy efficiency.