Knoxville, Tenn. (June 26) – In a historic vote today, the United States House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) by a vote of 219 to 212.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) applauds the leadership of those Southeastern members who supported this first step toward a clean-energy economy, with the House’s first-ever vote to cap global warming pollution. As President Obama stated in a press conference yesterday, “The nation that leads in the creation of a clean-energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century’s global economy.” SACE believes that ACES will move us in that direction.
- According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, energy efficiency provisions will save approximately $1,050 per household by 2020 and $4,400 per household by 2030.
- Natural Resources Defense Council reports that ACES will create an average of 53,700 new jobs per state in our Southeastern region (Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida).
- The Congressional Budget Office calculates that households with the highest income would see a net cost of only $245 per year by 2020, while households with the lowest income would see a net benefit of $40 in savings per year by 2020.
Furthermore, ACES will provide $30 million in revolving loan funds for small and medium sized green manufacturing businesses and an additional $2.5 billion in energy efficiency funds for states and local governments.
Today’s vote was a critical first step in making comprehensive climate legislation a reality in this country. This important piece of legislation, however, must clear other hurdles before becoming law. Throughout this process, SACE will continue advocating for further improvements: strengthening targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, advocating for sustainability criteria in utilizing biomass; increasing auctioned credits in the cap-and-trade program; and preserving the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.
As the Senate considers this legislation, SACE urges Senators to stand firm against attempts to weaken the bill or stall our nation’s shift to a clean energy economy. We urge support for any amendments to strengthen the proposal with additional investments in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency and protection for low-income consumers.
We have an unparalleled opportunity to move forward with a clean energy plan that simultaneously addresses climate change while bolstering our economy. We call on the Senate to move quickly on this issue and give America a chance to unleash the clean energy that will power the 21st Century. # # #