Following the introduction in the US Senate today of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, Climate Solutions hosted a telephone conference to emphasize the need for urgent action on comprehensive clean energy legislation this year.
Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon applauded Chairmen Kerry and Boxer for their leadership on comprehensive climate and clean energy reform. “The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act will put our country on the right path to ending our dependence on foreign oil and transforming our energy economy. Today marks the beginning of an extremely important debate in the Senate that will determine the nation’s economic future and the quality of life for our children and grandchildren. This legislation will make our air cleaner, strengthen our national security, and put millions of people to work creating clean, renewable energy in Oregon and across America.”
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, calling in from a Governors Climate Summit, said, “I commend Senators Kerry and Boxer for introducing this legislation today. Washington has been a leader among states on sound energy and climate policies. But the states can’t do it alone. We need a national strategy, and the United States can’t afford to wait any longer. This bill seizes on the opportunities we have to develop 21st century energy technologies that create jobs and reduce harmful greenhouse gases. That’s exactly what our nation needs. I am optimistic the Senate can pass this legislation, and send a final bill to President Obama.”
K.C. Golden, Climate Solutions’ Policy Director, said: “With the introduction of the Clean Energy Jobs bill, the U.S. Senate is stepping up to the plate to offer real climate solutions. The bill launches that debate on a strong note, confirming that our leaders are finally responding to the overwhelming public demand for a new energy future. Now more than ever, with the economy struggling, we need a serious commitment from the federal government to restore American leadership and build a powerful new driver for economic recovery and long-term prosperity – a new energy economy. We’re counting on our Senators to strengthen and move the bill aggressively – it’s time to deliver solutions as big as the economic, security, and climate challenges caused by our dependence on fossil fuels.”
Jim Hanna, Director of Environmental Impact for Starbucks, spoke to the threats of climate change and the company’s commitment to reducing its own footprint: "Starbucks sees climate change as a direct threat to our business. We’ve seen studies and significant anecdotal evidence from our coffee farmers around the world that even minor shifts in weather patterns are already negatively impacting the yield and quality of Arabica coffee bean production, and impacting the families that rely on coffee for their livelihoods. But, while Starbucks continues to take steps to reduce our own climate impact, such as our recent announcement that in 2010, 100% of our new company owned stores will use 25% less energy and be LEED certified, we understand that the key to successfully tackling the issue here in the United States is comprehensive climate legislation and policy,” said Hanna.
Concerned about the national security implications if America fails to act swiftly to regain control of our energy future, retired US Navy Officer Rick Hegdahl said, “America faces unprecedented economic, national security and environmental challenges. Now is the time to act so that we’re no longer sending billions of dollars to hostile foreign regimes, which hurts our economy, helps our enemies, and puts our security at risk.”
Climate Solutions looks forward to working with our Northwest Senators to ensure that the Senate delivers a bill to the President’s desk that fuels business innovation and investment, allows America to take control of our energy future, and delivers real climate solutions.