THE WAXMAN / MARKEY BILL HAS BEEN CO-OPTED BY SPECIAL INTERESTS.

A MESSAGE TO CLEAN SUPPORTERS
Press Release

By TheCLEAN.org

CLEAN’s birth grew out of a meeting of 45 local organizations (from across the United States) to over a 130 organizations today. At its initial meeting the organizers decided to embark on policies that would assist the transition from a coal/oil based energy economy to one that is based on renewable energy. The word transition here is key. Everyone at the meeting recognized that it was impossible to say “CLEAN energy now” as if the energy economy could be moved in one swoop! But with the progress made in clean energy technology and a timetable based on transition the organizers at the meeting believed that we had a credible platform around which to organize.

The Waxman-Markey bill falls far short of the policies needed to make the transition from a dirty energy economy to a clean energy economy.

Key provisions of the CLEAN statements (called the Citizens’ Clean Energy Economy Act) are:

Encourage residential energy efficiency by enacting a tax credit of $7500.

Appropriate $500 billion in investment in renewable energy over a ten year period, including transiting to a new digital electricity grid.

Enact a renewable electricity standard of 30% by 2020, 50% by 2030, and 100% by 2050.

Extend the production tax credit for wind projects for 10 years or enact national renewable energy production payments (also know as a Feed-in Tariff) to encourage continued expansion of renewable energy.

Appropriate $45 billion in direct government spending for public building retrofits, expansion of mass transit, freight rail and smart grid systems.

Require new federal housing to meet LEED gold standards immediately, and existing federal buildings to meet LEED gold standards within 5 years.

Create a Clean Energy Job Corps that will provide job training and apprenticeship programs to enable workers to develop the skills needed for clean energy jobs

Implement an economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 and auction carbon allowances to finance a transition to a clean energy economy.

Enact domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Establish tax credits for cars using plug-in electric, hybrid, or clean diesel technologies graded on miles per gallon efficiencies.

Enact a moratorium on building nuclear power plants and coal fired plants in order to transition to a clean, energy efficient economy while at the same time phase in renewable and energy efficiency technologies that eliminate fossil fuel usage and nuclear power by 2050.

No funds for carbon sequestration research.

How does the Markey-Waxman bill stand against CLEAN’s policies?

The Public Pays, Stockholders Collect and Business-as-Usual Prevails!

It provides $10 billion in research for carbon capture sequestration (CCS) research signaling to the coal industry that Congress envisions an energy future base on coal.

The requirements that polluters create energy from renewable energy sources are pathetic. They are so weak that they will make little to no difference in the deployment of renewable energy technology compared to what states and the market are doing now.

Utilities must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 17% by 2020. [Included in this provision are loopholes called “offsets” — i.e. if a utility plants trees in Brazil, they can be credited with reducing carbon emissions at home — which may lead to no actual reductions in CO2 emissions.] In other words the cap on emissions is too weak and loopholes further erode the ability for the US to adequately address global warming.

The bill’s provisions for the trade (economic) part of cap and trade favor the utility and oil industries over ratepayers and consumers by giving these industries hundreds of billions of dollars in carbon allowances (assets) while providing no protection for electric utility ratepayers for rate increases related to the sale and cost of allowances.

The legislation provides for the appearance of a moratorium on coal plants. In reality, the bill exempts 45 coal plants that are in various stages of permitting or approval.

WHY HAS THIS ENERGY LEGISLATION BECOME SO BAD?

The answer: Despite the changes sought by the electorate in the 2008 elections nothing has changed in the way lobbyists impose their will with a willing Congress on legislation. Corporate polluters, in 2009 alone, spent $80 million in lobbying for provisions of an energy bill that would satisfy their interests; Exxon-Mobil spent $9.3 million alone.

Also, several of the national “green” groups decided to cooperate with industry and Members of Congress in getting a bill through. NRDC, the Environmental Defense Fund and Pew all sat the table and, whether or not it was their intent to do so, provided “cover” for these bad policies.

However, Greenpeace, Public Citizen and Friends of the Earth have called for the bill to be “fixed or ditched”. CLEAN’s view is similar – change the bill or don’t pass it.

There are alternatives to the Waxman-Markey bill. In the House Representative Chris Van Hollen has introduced a “cap and dividend” bill which would require polluters to pay and pass on revenue to ratepayers instead of the corporate polluters in the form of monthly checks. Senators Klobuchar and Snowe have a bipartisan bill in the Senate that would appropriate funds for wind energy and enact stiffer requirements for utilities and other polluters.

It is expected that 200 amendments to the bill will be introduced when it reaches the floor of the House of Representatives. In addition the Senate has to debate its bill and the House and Senate will then have to conference over the differences in their bills.

So, the fight is not over! It is important for us all to get this bill changed or dropped!

CLEAN’s Position:

Dump the cap and trade provisions and carbon capture and sequestration provisions as they currently stand.

Pass a federal Renewable Electricity Standard that mandates at least 25% renewables by 2025.

Pass a federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standards that requires at least a 15% reduction in energy usage by electric utilities by 2020.

Pass separate climate legislation that forces the auction of allowances or imposes a carbon tax on polluters and gives the proceeds by the public (a revenue neutral carbon tax).

Stop This Bill! Call the Congressmen!

The American Clean Energy and Security Act has been compromised, weakened and hijacked by coal and utility special interests and our representatives have allowed it to happen. Our most powerful tool for fighting against this bill is our collective voices. Please call today. Tell Congressmen Markey and Waxman that they need to start over and they need to get it right! We’ve provided the talking points and their phone numbers are below.

Congressman Markey: (202) 225-2836

Congressman Waxman: (202) 225-3976

Tell us you called!

Please let us know that you called Congressman Markey and Waxman, and tell us what happened. You can report back about your calls on CLEAN’s social networking site at theCLEAN.ning.com

Talking Points

As a supporter of theCLEAN.org, a coalition of over 130 regional environmental organizations working for a clean energy policy and future for our nation, I am calling today to express my deep concern about the Waxman-Markey bill.

In its current state, the bill falls far short of the policies needed to transition from a dirty energy economy to a clean energy economy. Despite the changes sought by the electorate in 2008, nothing has really changed in Washington. Lobbyists for the fuel and coal industry have been allowed to hijack the bill and include provisions that would satisfy their own interests at the expense of the public good.

We believe the Markey Waxman bill should be drastically changed or dropped.

Here’s our position:

Dump the cap and trade provisions and carbon capture and sequestration provisions as they currently stand.

Pass a federal Renewable Electricity Standard that mandates at least 25% renewables by 2025.

Pass a federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standards that requires at least a 15% reduction in energy usage by electric utilities by 2020.

Pass separate climate legislation that forces the auction of allowances or imposes a carbon tax on polluters and gives the proceeds by the public (a revenue neutral carbon tax).

Here’s where the bill fails

It provides $10 billion in research for carbon capture sequestration (CCS) research signaling to the coal industry that Congress envisions an energy future base on coal.

The requirements that polluters create energy from renewable energy sources. They are so weak that they will make little to no difference in the deployment of renewable energy technology.

The cap on emissions is too weak and loopholes further erode the ability for the US to adequately address global warming.

The bill’s provisions favor the utility and oil industries over ratepayers and consumers by giving these industries hundreds of billions of dollars in carbon allowances while providing no protection for electric utility ratepayers for rate increases related to the sale and cost of allowances.

The legislation provides for the appearance of a moratorium on coal plants. In reality, the bill exempts 45 coal plants that are in various stages of permitting or approval.

Research and Surveys

The policies outlined in the Citizens’ Clean Energy Economy Investment Act’s foundation are based on solid, scientific, and economic research produced by experts from around the world and consolidated by Synapse. The CSI/CLEAN surveys demonstrate that, when people are educated about the true nature of our energy policies, they are prepared to support this Act.
OCTOBER 23, 2008

Survey Montana

OCTOBER 16, 2008

Survey Colorado

OCTOBER 1, 2008

Survey Indiana

SEPTEMBER 25, 2008

Survey National
Survey Kentucky
Survey West Virginia

JUNE 26, 2008

Survey Gas Prices

Clean Everywhere
News

Daniels Administration Too Cozy With Coal Industry? — TradingMarkets.com

‘Clean coal’ plant rises amid ill winds — IndyStar.com

No Public Funding for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Technology — A press release from theCLEAN.org

Cheney’s office tried to alter greenhouse gas testimony — JULY 9, 2008 – The Los Angeles Times

Mounting Costs Slow the Push for Clean Coal — MAY 30, 2008 – The New York Times

Another setback for Mountaintop Removal –FEB 14, 2008 – 700 Mountains.org