Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Excellent Article: This Earth Day we need more than a celebration, we need a clean energy revolution

This Earth Day we need more than a celebration, we need a clean energy revolution
by Dan Lashof 19 Apr 2010
Abridged; Link to full article below

This Earth Day we need more than a celebration. We need a clean energy revolution that creates 2 million jobs, cuts 2 billion tons, and saves 2 trillion dollars.


Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Joe Lieberman(I-Conn.) (KGL) have been working on a bipartisan proposal for months. They are now expected to unveil it on April 26.

Here is what this legislation could do for our country:

Add 2 million jobs. Comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation will create jobs for three reasons. First, enacting legislation will end more than a decade of uncertainty about the direction of U.S. policy, allowing both big energy companies and entrepreneurial start-ups to invest with confidence that the recent growth in the clean energy market will only accelerate. Second, clean energy sources generate over three times as many jobs per dollar spent than traditional fossil energy supplies. Third, building a robust domestic clean energy market will position U.S. firms to compete effectively in the rapidly expanding global clean tech arena. A University of California study found that the energy and climate bill which passed the House in June could create as many as 1.9 million jobs by 2020. The Senate only needs to do slightly better to hit the 2 million job target.

Cut 2 billion tons. That's the scale of global warming pollution reductions we need by 2020 to get on track to avoid the worst dangers from global warming. The only way to achieve this target is to set effective limits on carbon pollution from all major sources and tighten those limits each year. Strong complementary policies are also needed to accelerate energy efficiency improvements and ease the transition to a renewable energy economy. And supplemental policies are needed to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Both the House bill and the climate bill reported by the Senate Environment Committee last fall meet this two billion ton test. How will KGL match up?

Save 2 trillion dollars. That's the reduction in the amount of money we would send overseas to import oil over the next forty years if we enact an effective clean energy/climate bill according to NRDC's analysis. A comprehensive bill would achieve this in three ways. First, setting an overall limit on oil pollution and requiring oil companies to obtain emission permits to cover the carbon content of their products would create an incentive to shift to cleaner fuels and more efficient ways to get around that gets stronger every year. Second, setting stronger standards to reduce vehicle tailpipe emissions would continue the historic progress codified in the clean car rules that were finalized on April 1. Third, carbon dioxide captured from power plants and industrial facilities due to the pollution limits placed on those sources would be available to enhance oil production from aging oil fields in the United States without drilling in pristine areas. The
Senate appears to be even more focused on increasing our energy security than the House, so there is reason for optimism on this score.

Please read the full article:

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