Answering the President’s call for a clean energy future

This blog was written by Jennifer Rennicks, former Senior Director of Policy & Communications at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Guest Blog | April 3, 2009 | Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy

Our leaders in Congress have begun to answer President Obama’s call to send him an energy bill that jumpstarts the crucial transition to a clean, green economy.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), introduced on March 31, 2009 by Chairmen Henry Waxman and Edward Markey, is a solid start towards developing a comprehensive federal policy that reduces global warming pollution, incentivizes clean energy technologies, and revitalizes our lagging economy through new green-collar jobs.

Will this bill be the “ACE” in the hole that we need to ensure a clean energy future?  The draft legislation certainly has some strong provisions including

(1) robust renewable energy standards that will harness the Southeast’s vast renewable energy potential;

(2) progressive efficiency standards that will lay the groundwork for maximizing the fastest, cheapest, cleanest way to meet America’s energy needs through energy efficiency; and

(3) science-based, global warming reduction targets that will empower the United States to fully participate in international climate negotiations later this year in Copenhagen.

However, one critical piece is completely absent: the authors stayed silent on the best way to distribute pollution credits.  SACE whole-heartedly supports President Obama’s proposal that 100% of the credits should be auctioned to ensure that polluters, not consumers, pay to pollute. In the coming weeks and months we will work hard to ensure this message is heard on Capitol Hill, and urge our members and allies to lend their voices, too.

There’s a long road ahead of us to pass the kind of climate and energy bill we need to transition our country to a clean energy future, but this draft bill is undoubtedly a positive first step in that journey!

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