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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Clean Energy Update

The Clean Energy Update from the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

The Clean Energy Update, by the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

Welcome to the Clean Energy Update, your resource for news, facts and useful points on energy, environment, and climate issues. Congress is moving to pass historic clean energy jos legislation that will retool the American economy, help consumers and businesses, and end our dependence on foreign oil.

6.16.09   •   Focus: A Strong Case for Immediate Action on Global Warming

A new report released at the White House today by America's top climate scientists paints a stark picture of an America already beset by global warming, with more severe impacts to come if we do not cut the carbon pollution causing the problem.

The report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, written by the United States Global Change Research Program, is based on more than a dozen other national scientific synthesis reports along with others, including the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.

Key Findings and Future Projections Impact All Regions of the US:

  • Heavy downpours in the last 50 years have increased 67% in the Northeast and 31% in the Midwest. Unsurprisingly, this time has been marked by record flooding in those regions.
  • Water supplies in the rapidly growing Southwest will become increasingly scarce.
  • Global temperatures could increase 11 degrees Fahrenheit, with greater overall increases in the United States.
  • The growing season now starts 2 weeks earlier, impacting farming and crops in rural America.
  • Increased heat, pests, water extremes, weeds and other impacts would have significant effects on the agriculture and livestock sectors.
  • Sea-level rise would be 3-4 feet by 2100, completely flooding places like the Everglades and Cape Canaveral.

News Stories & Opinion

THE HILL [Op-Ed by Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL)]: ACES Act lays solid foundation for nation's clean-energy future

This bill addresses another one of my top priorities by providing new opportunities for quality, career-oriented jobs for low-income communities, as well as funding for minority- and women-owned businesses. The inclusion of the Low-Income Community Energy Efficiency Program (LICEEP), which was an amendment I offered that was adopted unanimously in the committee, will provide grants to mission-driven community development organizations as a means to increase the flow of capital and technical assistance to low-income communities, as well as minority- and women-owned businesses.

THE HILL [Op-Ed by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)]:Poorest Americans, contributing least to climate change, will not be hurt by legislation to rectify

Most importantly, the poorest Americans, who contributed least to this problem and are least able to endure any increases in costs, are held harmless. The 15 percent of allowance value devoted to these struggling households guarantees the recoupment of any lost purchasing power, and does not phase out over the 40-year life of the program.

Low-income households spend considerably more on energy as a percentage of total income than the average household.

Our goal in the consideration of this legislation was to lower greenhouse gases, bring sustainable new jobs to America, and aid the consumer, and particularly low- and moderate-income consumers who have contributed the least to the problem.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Government Study Warns of Climate Change Effects

The impact of global warming is expected to become more severe in coming years, the report says, affecting farms and forests, coastlines and floodplains, water and energy supplies, transportation and human health.

The study also cites an increase in drought in the Southwest and more intense heat waves in the Northeast as a result of growing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other climate-altering gases in the atmosphere.

Reduced mountain snowpack means earlier melt-offs and reduced stream volumes across the West and Northwest, affecting residential and agricultural water supplies, habitats for spawning fish and reduced hydroelectric power generation, the study found.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Green jobs growing swiftly

"Clean energy is job-creating opportunities for our nation," U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, a North Carolina Democrat, said in a conference call about the report. "We don't know the opportunities that will be available with new ideas. We're Americans, the most creative, innovative entrepreneurs in the world."

REVIEW JOURNAL: Nevada clean energy thrives

Nevada benefits from some of the nation's best solar energy and geothermal energy, he said. Geothermal energy comes from hot underground water and steam.

KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL: Tennessee third in clean energy jobs

Tennessee is on the forefront of clean energy job creation - long before two major solar manufacturers coming to the state have hired their first employees.

TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL: Kathy Castor: Clean energy jobs come at 'critical time'

A report on $85 billion in stimulus funding slated for direct spending on and tax incentives for energy and transportation programs prompted Congresswoman Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, to review the importance of clean energy jobs to Florida’s economy.

REUTERS: U.S. report to press case for quick moves on climate

Among the January draft's key findings:

  • climate change is already affecting water, energy, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems and health, differing from region to region and expected to grow if the climate changes as projected;
  • agriculture is one sector most able to adapt to climate change, but increased temperature, pests, diseases and weather extremes will challenge crops and livestock production;

TC PALM: Eric Draper, pro-con: Do you support cap-and-trade legislation? Yes

Why is it urgent that the nation deal with energy and climate change? The bill’s title says much: Clean energy means security for Florida’s economy and environment. Our low-lying coastal areas are vulnerable to saltwater intruding into our estuaries and drinking water aquifers. Sea level rise threatens our beaches. And more extreme weather events, such as droughts and intense storms can result in lost agricultural production and higher insurance rates.

USA TODAY: Gas prices rise for 48th day, but oil sells off

Gasoline prices rose Monday for the 48th straight day with prices now up nearly two-thirds since the beginning of the year even as demand from motorists remains weak.

MICHGAN BUSINESS INNOVATION: Dow Chemical CEO and Ford chairman: Manufacturing base is critical to new energy technologies

Pursuing clean energy technologies and preserving America's manufacturing base are not mutually exclusive objectives, executives said this morning at the National Summit in downtown Detroit.

Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris and Ford Motor Co. executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. called for the U.S. to form a cohesive industrial policy and to invest in alternative energy.

"We have an opportunity to preserve the environment and our manufacturing base by applying breakthrough technologies to create energy-efficient products and processes," Ford said.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Illinois wind farms bought by Irish energy company

Three Illinois wind farms within 100 miles of Chicago were acquired Monday by an Irish energy company making its first U.S. investment amid hopes that President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package will bolster the renewable energy business.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES: U.S. western states gain key support for renewable energy

"Governors have shown a commitment to addressing the critical issue of climate change and the challenges it presents to state and local governments," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality on a statement.

Among the actions taken today, the DOE announced:

  • $80 million for the development and implementation of the next generation high voltage transmission networks.
  • $50 million for assistance to state electricity regulators commissions to accelerate reviews of energy projects
  • $39.5 million for state and city governments to integrate smart grid technologies into the transmission network, critical infrastructure, interdependencies and cyber security.

The DOA announced $57 million to fund 30 biomass projects including wood-to-energy grants and biomass utilization.

6.15.09   •   Focus: How the Pollution Cap Works

Democrats have put forward a comprehensive solution to address our energy, economic and climate challenge that will create clean energy jobs in every region of the country.

Meanwhile, opponents have argued against new jobs, and launched a series of misleading attacks focused on one element of our plan - putting a cap on carbon pollution.

The truth is the Waxman-Markey emission reduction plan to fight global warming is simple. It makes polluters pay and helps clean companies prosper.

It's the same American solution we put in place to successfully fight ACID RAIN in 1990- after which time electricity rates fell 10 percent, and the U.S. economy added 16 million new jobs.

A market-based cap on pollution puts a limit on the amount of carbon and other heat-trapping emissions large power plants and other sources can emit. It then uses the power of a well-regulated market to get companies competing to produce the cleanest and cheapest energy and materials. It then re-invests revenues from the market back to consumers, energy research and development, and job-creation measures.

Over time, pollution is reduced and our energy, vehicles, appliances, and other parts of our economy will be cleaner, cheaper and American-made.

It's important to point out that the Acid Rain solution had bi-partisan support and was signed by the first President Bush. Former Senator John Warner (R-VA) endorsed the Waxman-Markey bill, and even Sen. John McCain and Newt Gingrich have backed market-based pollution caps as the best vehicle for fighting pollution.

The Waxman-Markey approach not only fights pollution, it also invests resources into consumer and worker protection, clean energy and efficiency savings for businesses and families.

This video from the Environmental Defense Fund, a USCAP Member, provides a simple explanation of how a market-based emissions reduction plan works.

News Stories & Opinion


A believer that information breeds action, Mr. Parker's next project is to raise awareness about the daily greenhouse-gas emissions around the world by setting up a second-by-second counter in New York City.

MR. PARKER: Until you can see the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere and the price of carbon every single day, I don't think the world is going to be sensitive enough to the urgency that is required to attack the problem. So you sensitize everybody to it, you remind them daily about it. Then you put a price on it, and let the market figure it out.

LA TIMES: Gasoline price surge comes at bad time

"The gasoline rise is like a tax we feel very painfully every time we go to a gas station," said Ed Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. For consumers struggling to regain their confidence, "it adds uncertainty. It will tend to retard the economic recovery and make it less powerful."

"That really opened my eyes," said Persinko, 51. "It's speculators driving the commodities market, or the oil companies are pillaging again. Last time it happened, it helped bring the whole economy down. Now it's happening again.

EP ONLINE: Farmers' Group Outlines Cap and Trade Bill Priorities

"Agriculture has a vested interest in participating in cap and trade and climate change legislation," says Jon Scholl, president of American Farmland Trust. "There are many stewardship and economic opportunities for producers to capture under a cap and trade system and in climate change legislation in general, but we must include agriculture or we'll face potentially onerous regulations that were not designed to address the agriculture sector well."

REUTERS: Global PC makers vying for "Green" crown

"It's really a green arms race, in which they're trying to one up each other, ... the good news is they're all working in this direction and that's going to benefit themselves, their customers and the environment."

GRIST: Labor teams up with enviros to pass climate bill and promote green jobs

After working for the United Steelworkers International Union for 30 years, Lauren Horne left in January to take on a new role within the labor movement-rallying union members to help fight climate change. Horne, a Pittsburgh native, is now coordinating an education campaign in Pennsylvania for the Labor Climate Project, a program run by the Blue Green Alliance. She spends her days traveling to union meetings throughout the state, where she teaches members about the problem of global warming and the ways that solutions could lead to new, green jobs for blue-collar workers.

WASHINGTON POST [Letter to the Editor]: A Federal Role in Energy-Saving Buildings

More than 40 states enforce energy codes. This bill will simply require them to be more effective.

Complementary policies such as building codes and standards, along with financial incentives for energy efficiency, as this bill would provide, offer the most effective way of meeting a cap at the lowest cost. These policies could reduce or eliminate the possibility that the cost of emissions permits will lead to higher energy prices, and they could cut electricity bills by reducing consumption.


Instead of fighting offshore-wind power like most of their peers, some East Coast commercial fisheries are trying a different tack: They're angling for a piece of the action.

The company they formed, incorporated as Fishermen's Energy LLC in 2007, moved a step closer to that goal in October when it won a $4 million grant from the state of New Jersey to begin the initial stages of development on a proposed 350-megawatt wind farm off Atlantic City.

THE GUARDIAN [UK]: Emerald Isle plots green revolution

The good news is that Ireland's predicament makes it a prime candidate for a "green new deal" - policies aimed not just at helping the economy through a difficult time but also to make it better able to face the twin challenges of a world where fossil fuels are dwindling and the temperature is rising.

6.15.09   •   Focus: Jobs News from Coast to Coast

News Stories & Opinion

DAILY HERALD [Editorial]: Consider climate bill despite costs

"The idea [of climate legislation], of course, is we'll avoid polluting, use better energy sources, be better stewards to avoid the higher cost.

Opponents worry that means costs will rise. Supporters admit that's the case. But they say we'll use less energy, meaning the bottom line will be lower. They also note that the bill includes a number of cost containment measures to limit the impact.

Taking this action to improve our environment will cost, no question. But inaction will undoubtedly cost far more."

FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: Green energy economy is growing, and fast

PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS: Hawaii's clean-energy jobs outpace total growth

NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW: N.H. clean-energy economy grows jobs

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Michigan is No. 10 in clean energy jobs

REUTERS: U.S. green economy needs plan to hit potential: study

FAST COMPANY: A Clean Energy Economy Generates Job Growth

AP: Study: Clean energy will stimulate Calif. economy

LA TIMES: California leading growth in nation's green jobs economy, study finds

ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: State's green firms get the green

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: New report says "green" jobs outpacing others in Missouri

THE OREGONIAN: Green jobs grew seven times faster than overall jobs in Oregon, study finds

REUTERS: 1-LG Chem to invest $794 mln in new car batteries in Korea

CNN: GM's 'reinvention' starts with $25 million battery lab

CAP'S WONK ROOM: GOP American Energy Act: Impact Of Global Warming 'Shall Not Be Considered For Any Purpose'

6.11.09   •   Focus: Savings and Jobs: Clean Energy Legislation to Save $3,900 per Household

Efficiency measures in the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) will save households $3,900 according to a new report released by The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

In addition to helping consumers save money and transition off dangerous foreign oil, the report indicates that energy efficiency measures will keep money in local communities, creating a multiplier effect that will generate economic activity and create 650,000 new jobs by 2030.

PEW Finds Clean Energy Generates Jobs

Clean energy jobs continue to light the path to economic recovery. A new comprehensive study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that growth in clean energy jobs continue to rise at a rate of 9.1 percent, while traditional jobs grew by just 3.7 percent over the last decade.

This report covers all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The clean energy and manufacturing sectors are poised to expand significantly with the passage of the Waxman-Markey legislation, which will unleash investment and technology to meet growing consumer demand for cost saving solutions.

Business Leaders Support Clean Energy Jobs Legislation

A group of business leaders, ranging from Nike and Starbucks to Duke Energy and Exelon, placed a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal calling for congressional action on emissions and clean energy legislation.

News Stories & Opinion

Indianapolis Star [Op-Ed by Rep. Baron Hill]: Focus our energy on common ground

I believe enacting energy legislation that addresses energy independence, green jobs and climate change is both pressing and productive. And I believe it can and should be done in a way that takes into account the current economy and geographic disparities.

... the goal of this bill is to find common ground -- to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, spur energy independence, create green jobs and ensure future generations can enjoy our environment, all while protecting Hoosier ratepayers. I believe these goals can all be achieved simultaneously.

Politico: Chamber of Commerce, NAM Rebuked For Opposition to Climate Change Bill

An alliance of 14 organizations that support climate change legislation has sent letters to companies that are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, urging them to demand a refund of any dues being used by the two groups to oppose a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The Chamber of Commerce already is taking heat from several corporate members over its opposition to the global warming legislation.

Washington Times: Speculation leads to gas spike

A surprise spurt in consumer demand and a growing wave of investor speculation have sent the prices of crude oil and gasoline soaring, creating worries for the overall economy and legislative peril for energy companies in the nation's capital.

Some analysts see financial speculation as a major cause of the price spurt.

Traverse City Record-Eagle: Forum: Green jobs go from hype to reality

We found that Michigan currently has 109,067 private-sector green jobs, including 96,767 direct jobs and 12,300 support jobs. Already, green jobs make up 3 percent of private-sector employment...

From 2005 to 2008, a sample of 358 green-related firms added more than 2,500 jobs. They grew by 7.7 percent while Michigan's overall private-sector employment shrank 5.4 percent...

There's more good news: Green jobs tend to pay well. Thirteen of the top 15 green employment sectors boast average weekly wages above Michigan's overall private sector average, several of them far above.

Washington Post: Report says climate change is adding to migration

Estimates vary on how many people are on the move because of climate change, but the report cites predictions from the International Organization for Migration that 200 million people will be displaced by environmental pressures by 2050. Some estimates go as high as 700 million, said the report, released at U.N negotiations for a new climate treaty.

Asheville Citizen-Times: Retrofitting schools could mean more green jobs

"We can't move forward with leaking windows and buildings bleeding energy. We can't be short-sighted and put money into just keeping these old buildings warm when we need to put the money toward educating our kids," Asheville city Councilwoman Robin Cape said.

Grist: Waxman-Markey could save $3,900 per household and create 650,000 jobs by 2030

The bill’s authors clearly understood that energy efficiency is THE core climate solution - the biggest and lowest cost carbon-free resource by far.

6.9.09   •   Focus: the fiscally responsible plan to a clean energy future

The Clean Energy Jobs plan is both environmentally sound and fiscally responsible.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a new analysis of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act and found that it will NOT raise the federal budget deficit. That means it will not require a PAYGO.

CBO's analysis states that Waxman-Markey will raise $846 billion over the next decade in revenues from the new carbon market, with the revenues dedicated to investing in clean energy jobs and to protecting consumers who have suffered under the weight of our old energy economy and OPEC-driven gas spikes.

More than 50 percent of the revenues from the pollution-cutting program will go back to consumers -- with at least 35 percent protecting against increases in electric, natural gas, home heating and propane bills; and another 15 percent to assist low income families.

Even before efficiency savings, consumer benefit measures and cost-saving technology gains are factored into the program, the EPA has indicated that the Waxman-Markey clean energy jobs plan would cost less than a postage stamp per day.

News Stories & Opinion

AP: Midwest governors seek aggressive emissions goals

The plan calls for a nearly 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, with an 80 percent reduction by 2050...

While the group prefers a federal cap-and-trade system, the recommendations give governors in the Midwest a possible framework for a regional system should Congress fail to act by 2012.

AP: Climate bill to pay hundreds of dollars in rebates

Low-income families will recieve hundreds of dollars a year to help pay higher energy bills if Congress enacts the first-ever limits on the gases blamed for global warming, according to a new analysis.

NYT/ClimateWire: House Climate Bill would trim budget deficit, CBO says

CBO's scoring of H.R. 2454 projects the bill's requirement that companies reduce their emissions or purchase alowances on an open market would bring in federal revenue of about $845.6 billion during the first decade of its operation. By contrast, federal spending is expected to increase by $821.2 billion, meaning the Treasury can expect a $24.4 billion net gain.

Boston Globe [Op-Ed by Chairman Markey]: The race for clean-energy innovation

American companies would get an edge with passage of the Waxman-Markey bill, the most sweeping energy legislation Congress has considered in a generation. The plan would end America's dangerous dependence on foreign oil, increase the amount of clean energy we produce, make our buildings, homes, cars, and trucks more eficient, and cut the harmful carbon pollution causing global warming.

Reuters: NY sees clean energy creating up to 50,000 jobs

New York could create as many as 50,000 jobs by converting 45 percent of its electricity needs to renewable energy sources by 2015...

The State [Op-Ed by Alston F. Lippert]: Wilson misses boat on cap and trade

First, a cap-and-trade system is neither ineffective nor necessarily a high-tax proposal. It only becomes a high-tax proposition for industries that are unable to met the goals set. The industries that can meet these goals are rewarded by being able to sell their excess permits to those that need them, resulting in profit. Thus, profit-seeking, a corner-stone of capitalism, drives the system and encourages efficiency and research and development efforts.

NYT: China and U.S. Seek a Truce on Greenhouse Gases

Many take the simple fact that the two nations, jointly responsible for more than 40 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, are even talking seriously to each other about the issue as a propitious sign after years of mutual distrust.

6.5.09   •   Focus: Editorials - support from diverse regions of the country for congressional Clean Energy Jobs Plan

INDIANAPOLIS STAR: Lighten up on carbon reduction

Gov. Mitch Daniels and U.S. Reps. Mike Pence and Steve Buyer have some significant non-allies in their vehement opposition to the carbon reduction legislation now moving through Congress.

Among them are most of the Midwest's governors, who already have signed a regional cap-and-trade agreement; and Indiana's largest electric utility, whose boss accepts the need for congressional action and insists it will benefit rather than punish this coal-dependent region -- if the region's leadership pulls up to the table.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Cap-and-trade off: Compromise bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions spreads the cost

The compromise legislation crafted by committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Edward Markey, D-Mass., preserves the original intent of the Obama administration to begin addressing the causes of climate change, while insulating emissions-producing industries and consumers from economic damage.

The legislation has attracted an unusual coalition of supporters, including Duke Energy, Alcoa and the Environmental Defense Fund. Former Vice President Al Gore, whose film An Inconvenient Truth helped raise public awareness of global warming, plans to campaign for its passage.

THE TENNESSEAN: Economy no excuse to ignore global warming

Markey has said a climate change bill would "create jobs by the millions, save money by the billions and unleash energy investments by the trillions." While critics may react to such statements as hyperbole, look no further than what is happening right now in Tennessee. This state has chosen to be a leader in renewable energy technology. The state has attracted huge recent investments in solar power, from Hemlock Semiconductor for a site near Clarksville and one by Wacker Chemie AG in southeast Tennessee. Together, those investments involve more than $2 trillion. That's real money.

Gov. Phil Bredesen has called for establishing a solar institute in the state. The quest for new energy sources is not just a dream. It's real. It's happening. The only question is the level of commitment others will have to develop new energy sources. Tennessee is positioned to be a global leader. That didn't happen by making excuses.

NEW YORK TIMES: Leadership Long Delayed

For anyone eager to see the United States take a serious leadership role on the issue of global warming, this week was enormously encouraging.

It began with the White House’s announcement that it will impose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. It ended with a House committee approving a comprehensive energy and global warming bill — an important first step on legislation that seeks to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, reverse emissions of carbon dioxide and create millions of clean energy jobs.

6.4.09   •   Focus: International Competition

The nation that leads the race for clean energy technology will have a global economic advantage for the next century. With millions of manufacturing and high-tech jobs on the line, the United States cannot afford to fall behind.

  • Though we invented solar technology, the United States now lags behind Germany in solar power and manufacturing. The Germans control 47% of the global photovoltaic market, and Europe deployed 13 times more solar photovoltaic power than the United States last year.
  • Denmark leads the world in wind power, even though our shores stretch thousands of miles longer.
  • 50 percent of all new jobs created in Ireland last year were clean energy jobs.
  • China is spending $12.6 million PER HOUR on clean energy development.
  • By the end of 2009, China will be the world's biggest exporter of renewable energy technology. China is preparing to invest $440 to $660 billion this year in clean energy development.
  • China brought the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid car to market, ahead of the Chevy Volt, and has plans to develop a network of electric vehicle charging stations. Korea and Japan are leapfrogging America in battery and electric vehicle technology that will power the vehicles of the future.

The Waxman-Markey legislation will launch a renewable revolution, one that draws on our manufacturing might and technological advantage and positions us to lead the world in wind, solar, efficiency, and carbon capture and sequestration technology.

It's time to put America back in the driver's seat in the global race for clean energy jobs and technology.

News Stories and Reports

New York Times/Green Inc: Assessing China's low carbon dragon

...China is already a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic technology, according to the report, with 820 megawatts of production in place by the end of 2007, second only to Japan. Output of solar panels has doubled for each of the last four years, and by the end of 2009, China is expected to become the world’s leading exporter of wind turbines.

Irish Examiner: Green sector creates 50% of jobs

NEW figures show that more than 50% of new Irish jobs created this year come under the green category which has the capacity to create at least 55,000 jobs by 2020.

Research shows more than 10,000 of the jobs created over the past three months were generated by the green economy with substantial potential down the line provided the Government gives greater backing to green issues.

Report: Climate Progress in China (Center for American Progress)

By 2020, China plans to tap wind power for 100 gigawatts of electricity, which is triple the original target; solar power for 10 gigawatts— a fivefold increase; and hydroelectric power by 300 gigawatts, twice its current capacity. In addition, China moved 40 million solar-water heaters into Chinese homes in 2007, accounting for two-thirds of the global market demand, with a target of 30 percent of households by 2020.

Report: We Must Seize the Energy Opportunity or Slip Further Behind (Center for American Progress)

China's leaders are investing $12.6 million every hour to green their economy. Other countries are equally energetic in their embrace of alternative energy technologies; they are setting targets and investing billions of dollars to spur the development of entirely new markets in wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, energy efficiency, high-speed rail, and other clean and innovative solutions to global warming.

Speech by Todd Stern, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change:

And this energy-intensive, coal-driven growth has had toxic consequences for China’'s environment and public health. Sixteen of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China, particulate pollution in Beijing is six times higher than in New York, and premature deaths from respiratory disease are estimated in a joint World Bank/China research project at 750,000 per year. Water pollution is just as bad – 90 percent of the aquifers in China's cities are polluted, and more than 75 percent of river water in urban areas is unsuitable for drinking or fishing. Moreover, on any given day, 25 percent of the particulate pollution in Los Angeles is made in China, as is the acid rain problem in Japan and Korea. Pan Yue, a former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, famously said a few years ago – "The economic miracle will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace."

Chinese leadership has increasingly come to recognize the importance of changing course, for many reasons – climate change, energy security and the pressing need to clean up its environment, but also because of the country's daunting employment needs. With U.S. consumers tightening their belts and Chinese exports declining, Beijing needs a new engine of job creation. And the industries responsible for most of China's emissions growth don't create many jobs. The five most energy-intensive industries in the country account for nearly half of China’s CO2 emissions, but employ only 14 million people combined. That's less than they did a decade ago and a drop in the bucket in a labor pool of 770 million.

And so China has taken significant steps to rebalance its economy towards labor-intensive services and manufacturing, improve its energy efficiency and reduce its emissions. For example, China's current five-year plan includes the goal of reducing the energy intensity of the economy 20% by 2010, and the aim of increasing the share of renewable energy in the primary energy supply to 15% by 2020. China has implemented increasingly stringent auto emissions standards, stronger than our own, and its domestic stimulus package contained substantial clean energy investments. And there are many other initiatives underway, including an intensive focus on producing electric vehicles, and a new commitment to develop solar power. Already, China is one of the world's leading producers of both wind and solar technology.

Select Committee Hearing (testimony and video) on efforts by other nations to create clean energy jobs

6.2.09   •   Focus: Jobs

Momentum Building for Clean Energy Jobs Plan

More than 100 events took place last week

Last week communities across the nation came together to support clean energy jobs. From manufacturing jobs in wind and solar to green buildings and weatherization projects, moving to a clean energy economy will put people back to work today and provide a healthy environment for our future. These events supported measures in the Recovery Act and called for an American clean energy jobs plan.

Stories/Opinion Pieces

MSNBC Morning Joe clip on moving to a clean economy

Excellent clip from Morning Joe featuring Green for All, Tom Brokaw, Donny Deutsch and Joe Scarborough all expressing support for a clean economy.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (FL): Clean Energy: Bold action needed at national level now

Tourism and agriculture, the two largest industries in Florida, are both threatened by the effects of global warming. If we want to have a sustainable environment and grow our economy, then we need to take bold action now – particularly at the national level.

President Obama has made building a clean energy economy one of his priorities. Along with Congress, the President has made a significant down payment on creating a clean energy future by passing an economic recovery plan with more than $80 billion in green spending and a budget plan that prioritizes clean energy and funds important environmental initiatives. The next step is for Congress to pass a comprehensive clean energy and climate plan.

Detroit News: House energy bill will increase green jobs

While Michigan struggles with a 12 percent unemployment rate -- one of the highest in the nation -- great strides are being taken to retrain our work force for the green jobs of the future and get us back to work. And these efforts will have lasting impacts on the quality of our land, air and water.

Driving investment in clean energy technologies will create tens of thousands of high-paying American jobs -- jobs that can't be outsourced. And we need those jobs now more than ever.

Michigan's recently released Green Jobs Report shows we already have 109,067 green jobs. In fact, green job creation is far outpacing the rest of our economy with more than 350 green firms creating more than 2,500 jobs in our state -- an employment expansion of 7.7 percent. Our manufacturing sector is in dire straights, but investing in a clean energy economy, retraining workers and retooling manufacturing plants to enter the green marketplace will get our economy moving forward again while decreasing our nation's dangerous dependence on carbon-based fuels.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act, which the House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved, will continue this trend and expand our burgeoning green jobs economy -- breathing new life into Michigan's withering manufacturing sector.

Reuters: Philadelphia creates green jobs to weatherize row houses

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The City of Brotherly Love is tackling rising unemployment and improving the energy efficiency of homes by training people to weatherize its estimated 400,000 low-income row houses.

WTAE Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Announces Money for 'Green' Jobs for Youth

PITTSBURGH -- Officials in Allegheny County have announced close to $2 million in funding to create hundreds of "green" jobs for area youth.

According to a news release from County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, the $1.87 million grant from the Workforce Investment Act will fund a summer jobs program for 600 young people.

BusinessWeek: NY governor: Grants to spur clean energy jobs

New York Gov. David Paterson says state grants will leverage $95 million in federal economic stimulus funds to create as many as 400 research jobs for clean energy projects statewide.

The grants will bring together top scientists in fields ranging from solar energy and electricity storage to materials sciences, biofuels, advanced nuclear systems, and reducing carbon emissions.

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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