6.23.09   •   Focus: CBO and EPA End Debate on Cost, Move Discussion Toward Benefits

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in two separate reports, have definitively ended the cost debate over comprehensive climate and energy legislation. Far from the doom-and-gloom economic tales spun by the opponents of the legislation, the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act is an effective and affordable tool that will create millions of new clean energy jobs.

Congress now stands on the verge of passing historic clean energy legislation that will finally begin moving the United States off foreign oil, with minimal transition costs to consumers - costing households less than a postage stamp a day. In addition, Waxman-Markey invests in energy efficiency incentives to save families and business money.

CBO has already indicated that Waxman-Markey's budget neutral policy will NOT increase the federal budget deficit, and does not require a PAYGO.



An END to Misleading Republican Scare Tactics

These new reports finally put to rest the misleading attacks that have been perpetuated by Republican leadership on the costs of a clean energy plan. Scaring consumers with false, inflated numbers is a tactic designed to keep America tethered to failed energy policies of the past. In the Bush-Cheney years we saw energy costs increase $1,100 for the average American household, gas prices spike to over $4 a gallon and our dependence on foreign oil rise.

The American people are ready for a clean break from the energy policies of the past, and the Waxman-Markey legislation will move the nation forward in a responsible way, increasing jobs and financial savings for our nation.

News Stories & Opinion

Remarks of President Barack Obama

At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe. It also provides assistance to businesses and communities as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies.

WASHINGTON POST: Climate Bill to Cost Average Consumers $175 a Year: CBO

The CBO said yesterday that the poorest 20 percent of American households would actually receive a $40 benefit in 2020 from the legislation, which would establish a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions, while the richest 20 percent of households would see a net cost of $245 a year.

DENVER POST: It's an Unprecedented Opportunity [Op-Ed by Michael Bowman]

Colorado's farmers and ranchers have an important decision to make when it comes to global warming.

We can ignore the science that tells us a warming climate will diminish our water supplies and make it more difficult to make a living off of our land, or we can support a national energy policy that will make us part of the global warming solution, while creating new opportunities and revenue streams to keep family farmers and ranchers on our land.

Countless other farmers and ranchers will benefit from the offset market created by this clean energy policy.

Farming in Colorado is a way of life. But Colorado farmers know that they are at Mother Nature's mercy. Ignoring global warming puts this life and the livelihood of thousands of Colorado families at risk.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Rep. Mike Doyle Pumps Up Clean Energy Bill

Government, labor and faith community leaders have teamed with environmental organizations and more than two dozen corporations in touting the environmental and economic benefits to be gained by passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

"In short, this bill has been carefully drafted to reduce global warming while protecting consumers and creating jobs in the USA, not killing them," Mr. Doyle said in remarks prepared for the news conference Downtown, which aimed to rally support for the legislation.

ROLL CALL: Bill is Essential for Curbing Gases [Op-Ed by Rep. Rick Boucher]

Under our agreement, separate legislation I have introduced to accelerate the flow of federal funding for the latest generation of carbon capture and storage technologies will be enacted into law. Under that measure, $1 billion annually will be devoted to the development of these technologies for a 10-year period, and estimates are that with this funding they will be available and reliable in 2020.

ROLL CALL: Help Economy and Environment [Op-Ed by Rep. Gene Green]

The question is not whether we should or should not regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but rather how to regulate emissions with the least disruption to our economy.

A carefully crafted climate proposal, however, can help minimize any price impacts and provide transitional assistance as we move toward a clean energy future.

Natural gas is also required to make energy-efficient products, wind turbine blades and solar panels, as well as to provide backup power to renewable energy projects and to run biomass facilities.

ROLL CALL: Small Businesses Need a Stronger Energy Bill

I am a small-business owner and partner in GïO Logic LLC of Belfast, Maine, a design and building company building the next generation of sustainable, energy-efficient homes. So I understand first-hand the importance of investing in clean energy and the importance of Congress strengthening the Clean Energy and Security Act.

A stronger renewable energy standard in the energy bill would provide small businesses, like mine, with an important opportunity to provide quality, energy-efficient housing that people can afford to build and heat and cool. And this opportunity would not just benefit small businesses. It would also create an entirely new market for green jobs that are good-paying, skilled and valuable to the economy. And these are jobs that can never be shipped overseas.

ST. PETERSBURG TIMES: Cap Carbon, Grow Business [Op-Ed by Fred Krupp and Lew Hay]

America is faced with a triple threat of challenges: an economy in recession, an overdependence on foreign energy, and a warming planet.

By capping and setting a price on carbon dioxide emissions, the American Clean Energy and Security Act will help create a clean-energy economy for the 21st century ó one that will help pull the economy out of recession, strengthen America's energy security in a volatile world, and address the threat of global climate change.

Not surprisingly, Gov. Charlie Crist's climate and energy task force unanimously agreed that "a strong national cap-and-trade program is the preferred method for achieving substantial reductions in (carbon emissions), and Florida should advocate for a national program."

AP: Renewable Energy to Create Jobs, Experts Say

More investment in renewable energy would create much-needed jobs at a time when the world is struggling with rising unemployment, experts said Monday.

REUTERS: Cap-and-Trade Data Point of the Day

A reasonable price to pay, I think, for massively reducing the economy's reliance on oil imports and working to curtail the potentially catastrophic tail risk associated with global climate change. Note that ancillary benefits, such as economic and competitiveness advantages which flow from the private sector making significant investment in clean-energy technologies, are not included in this calculation; it doesn't even include $22 billion a year in energy savings which will result from the act.

NEW YORK TIMES [PAUL KRUGMAN'S BLOG]: Climate Change Fantasies

[The] Environmental Defense Fund was essentially right: the costs of cap-and-trade are very, very low.

AFB NEWS: Baptist Leaders Urge Congress to Pass Climate-Change Bill

A total of 140 moderate Baptist leaders signed a June 18 letter urging passage of a comprehensive energy bill that includes caps on emissions linked to global warming.

Drafted by the Baptist Center for Ethics, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner organization, the letter asks members of Congress to strengthen and pass "The American Clean Energy and Security Act," expected to make its way through Congress in coming weeks.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER: Alabama Voices: Take New Path [Op-Ed by Adam R. Snyder]

By this point, we should all be able to agree that the status quo is not working. But new jobs will require developing new industries. In fact, the promise of millions of new good-paying jobs lies within our reach. But it will require moving in a new direction. In short, it will require a new energy policy -- one that will make America a global leader in clean energy.

Right now, the auto industry crisis means that many skilled manufacturers in Alabama are hurting, but an energy plan that includes the development of plug-in electric vehicles will require those same manufacturing skills to make better cars.

HUFFINGTON POST: Robert Stavins: W-M and International Competitiveness

But it represents a solid foundation for a domestic climate policy that can help place the United States where it ought to be -- in a position of international leadership to develop a global climate agreement that is scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically acceptable to the key nations of the world.

This is the web version of the Select Committee's Clean Energy Update email.
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