Transition to clean and renewable energy will help combat climate change, support continued job creation gains
Washington (December 7, 2016) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.) today introduced a Senate resolution calling for generating 100 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States from clean and renewable energy resources by 2050. The resolution points to the enormous job creation potential of transitioning to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal, particularly in communities with high rates of unemployment or underemployment. There are currently 310,000 individuals in the United States employed in the solar industry and 88,000 in the wind industry. The United States is projected to add more electric generating capacity from solar and wind than from any other source in 2016. More than half of all new electricity capacity added in the world in 2015 was renewable
“As a technological giant, the United States must continue to lead the clean energy revolution,” said Senator Markey. “The question is no longer if we can power our country with 100 percent renewable energy, it’s when and how we will make the transition. Moving to 100 percent clean energy will power job creation that is good for all creation. We can and will meet this goal and now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand up and fight for our clean energy future. I thank Senator Merkley for his partnership introducing this resolution that sets out the bold goal of generating 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2050.”
“Today’s resolution sends a message loud and clear to our Senate colleagues: It’s time to get serious about our climate efforts with big, bold and rapid moves to accelerate the clean energy economy,” said Senator Merkley. “Transitioning to clean and renewable energy is not only the right thing to do for clean air and a strong economy, it is what we must do to save our beautiful blue-green planet.”
A copy of the resolution can be found HERE. Full text can be found below.
Other Senators supporting the resolution include Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.).
Supporting a transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy to help consumers, support the economy and national security of the United States, and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Whereas, in December 2016, nearly 200 nations that are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted an historic international agreement to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change;
Whereas transitioning to clean energy will help reduce carbon pollution in the United States, and combat climate change;
Whereas transitioning to clean energy will help the United States meet its international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
Whereas transitioning to a clean energy economy will create millions of well-paying jobs in the United States, save consumers in the United States money, and boost economic growth;
Whereas low-income communities, communities of color, and indigenous people in the United States are inordinately exposed to pollution from fossil fuels;
Whereas distributed renewable energy and energy efficiency can provide access to local jobs in cities in the United States while cleaning up neighborhoods;
Whereas, in 2005, the United States had fewer than 10,000 megawatts of installed wind and solar electric generating capacity;
Whereas, in 2016, the United States has more than 100,000 megawatts of installed wind and solar electric generating capacity;
Whereas, in 2016, the United States is projected to add more electric generating capacity from solar and wind than from any other source;
Whereas, by the end of 2016, there are projected to be—
(1) 310,000 individuals in the United States employed in the solar industry; and
(2) 88,000 individuals in the United States employed in the wind industry;
Whereas, by 2020, there are projected to be nearly 600,000 individuals in the United States employed in the wind and solar industries;
Whereas more than 1⁄2 of all new electricity capacity added in the world in 2015 was renewable; and
Whereas according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the United States has the technical potential to generate more than 100 times the quantity of electricity it consumes each year as of 2016 solely from wind, solar, and other renewable resources: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) supports a national goal of phasing out fossil fuel emissions and, by 2050, generating 100 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States from clean energy resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, and other renewable resources; and
(2) supports policies to achieve that goal that will—
(A) create jobs for all individuals, especially in communities with high rates of unemployment or underemployment, and build a sustainable economy; and
(B) ensure universal access to clean energy for all homes and businesses in the United States, including for moderate- and low-income families.