Obama, Reid’s Leadership Needed To Secure America’s Energy Future
LANSING – Michigan clean energy advocates representing business, national security, faith, labor, science and environmental groups today urged action on comprehensive clean energy legislation, one day after a plan reflecting months of hard work by U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was unveiled in Washington, D.C.
The American Power Act was unveiled Wednesday by Sens. Kerry and Lieberman. The senators stood alongside representatives of utility companies, energy companies, environmental organizations and business – including Michigan-based A123 Systems and Dow Corning – to show broad support for the measure.
Michigan clean energy advocates today urged U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Carl Levin (D-Detroit) to support comprehensive clean energy legislation that will create jobs, help rebuild our economy and increase our national security.
“As Michigan small businesses, we see firsthand how clean energy can create jobs and new opportunities,” said Gary Lazarski of Carbon Green BioEnergy. “We cannot afford to wait any longer. Michigan businesses are ready to be innovative and become leaders in the energy economy. Clean energy legislation can give us the support we need to compete globally, create Michigan jobs and move our economy forward.”
Public support for comprehensive clean energy legislation remains strong. According to a new national poll by Benenson Strategy Group, 61 percent of 2010 voters support a bill that limits pollution, invests in domestic energy sources, and encourages companies to develop clean energy. There is also wide support for action among business, national security, environmental, labor, faith-based and veterans’ organizations. This broad coalition believes that the bipartisan-supported legislation signifies a major step forward in passing meaningful climate and energy policies, and that now is the time for the Senate to act.
“Our nation has been talking about the need to break our dependence on foreign oil for decades, and the only thing that’s happened is that we’ve grown even more dependent,” said Matt Ross, an Army veteran who served in Iraq. “Investments in wind, solar and advanced auto technology will help give us the push we need to break free and become more energy independent. Forty years from now, we simply can’t afford to still be talking about the need to break our dependence on foreign oil.”
“When it comes to climate change and the need for action now, scientists all agree: Congress must pass measures to protect Michigan and the Great Lakes from climate change,” said David Skole, professor of global change science at Michigan State University. “More than 200 Michigan scientists support climate change solutions. As a climate change scientist, my message is clear: We need action to reduce climate change and we urge Senators Levin and Stabenow to act now and support clean energy legislation.”
“In Genesis [2:15] humans were given the Garden to tend, not to cover in asphalt,” said Father Charles Morris, the founder and public policy director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. “Everyone must take a moment to remember that we are all a part of creation. Clean energy and energy efficiency are critical tools that we need to protect the earth. Additionally, these tools will help create jobs – good-paying jobs that we need here in Michigan to help our working families get through these tough times.”
“Clean energy is vital to Michigan’s future because this growing sector can help put Michigan’s working families back to work,” said Steve Reck of SEIU 517M. “Clean energy is creating jobs in advanced automotive and battery technology, wind and solar, and manufacturing and construction. Passing clean energy legislation is the best way to create millions of jobs building a new clean energy economy right here in Michigan.”
“One of the most stark examples of our need to invest in clean energy technologies is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where we are witnessing an environmental and economic catastrophe along the Gulf Coast,” said Danielle Korpalski, regional outreach coordinator of the National Wildlife Federation. “The true cause of the Gulf Coast catastrophe is our over-reliance on oil. America needs to move to clean, renewable 21st century energy sources and that’s why we urge Congress to pass clean energy and climate change legislation now.”
Sources: National Wildlife Federation