June 2009

The Green Economy June 2, 2009 : 6:22 PM

At Huffington Post, T. Boone Pickens sings the praises of the green economy:

"Right now there are wind farms and manufacturing facilities in 48 out of 50 states. While our country is fighting its way out of a recession, this industry and others in the burgeoning green economy are bright spots, creating permanent, good-paying jobs, putting people to work, and helping America cement its status as a global leader in the energy industry."

Conservatives on Capitol Hill are claiming the green economy won’t create jobs, but that is simply false.

According to the Center for American Progress:

According to the Center for American Progress: "Spending $100 billion within the domestic oil industry would create only about 542,000 jobs in the United States. A green infrastructure investment program would create nearly four times more jobs than spending the same amount of money on oil energy resources. And again, spending on oil offers no benefits in transitioning the U.S. economy toward a low-carbon future, while perpetuating the economic and national security vulnerabilities by continuing to rely on oil for the lifeblood of our economy."


"China's leaders are investing $12.6 million every hour to green their economy... This massive stimulus plan will spend over 3 percent of China's 2008 gross domestic product annually in 2009 and 2010 on green investments-more than six times America's green stimulus spending as a percentage of our respective economies. This is about $12.6 million every hour over the next two years."


A great film June 4, 2009 : 2:07 PM

On June 5th, Home, a film by French Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand will be released. This is one of the most visually spectacular and inspiring movies I have ever seen. It combines footage from 50 countries around the global, filmed from the air, and shares an amazing vision of our planet.

The release of Home will be unique: “for the first-time ever, a film will be released in every format, including in movie theaters, on television, DVD/Blu-ray Disc and the internet, on the same day in over 50 countries to reach the widest audience possible.”

Get more information by clicking here.


Great article in Grist June 5, 2009 : 4:35 PM

Grist recently ran a great article about the work of the Alliance for Climate Protection:

"The plan, according to Alliance CEO Maggie Fox, is to organize "the biggest mobilization that the climate movement has ever seen.""

"Getting into the field"

"Fox came to the Alliance in March from America Votes, a coalition of progressive groups that coordinates get-out-the-vote drives in swing states. She replaced Cathy Zoi, who left to join the Obama administration as assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy."

"The Alliance recently brought on other veterans of national political campaigns: Steve Hildebrand, the Obama campaign's deputy national campaign director, is working as a consultant for the project. Steve Bouchard, a veteran of the 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential campaigns, is campaign manager for the Alliance. Brian Rogers, spokesperson for John McCain's presidential campaign last year, has come on board as research director."

"The group is hiring a fleet of veteran field organizers who cut their teeth during the Obama campaign, and who bring a wealth of grassroots organizing skills. Since the beginning of the year, the group's paid staff has grown from 20 people to 120, with plans to expand up to 250 in the next few months. The Alliance has moved its headquarters from California to Washington, D.C., but at the same time sent many of its organizers far outside the Beltway. New hires include 16 state directors and 55 regional field organizers, working in a total of 28 states, with a particular emphasis on the districts of swing-vote representatives in the Midwest and South who need encouragement to support climate legislation."


We Can Lead June 12, 2009 : 12:46 PM

Brought together by Ceres, major American corporations from Starbucks to Ebay to Duke Energy purchased an ad in the Wall Street Journal calling for an “economy-wide cap and trade program.”

The ad raises a vital point:

"But when it comes to preparing our country to compete in the clean energy economy, the U.S. is losing and we lag far behind our global competitors. Even as our inventors create new technologies, we often lose them to overseas markets that have supportive government policies and incentives."

"China's clean economy strategy includes a stimulus investment of $221 billion over the next two years - double that of the U.S. Until the late 1990's, the U.S. dominated the global solar energy market; now Japan, China and Germany are the leaders."

"Just as we seek to mend our economy to be "shovel ready" and job creating, we are in fact supplying a "shelf ready" economy with our technologies being plucked off our inventors' shelves for production in other countries. Of the world's top 10 solar PV, 10 wind and 10 advanced battery manufacturing companies, only five of the 30 are U.S. companies."

Solving the climate crisis is good for American business, no matter what climate deniers want you to believe.


Join me on a conference call June 22, 2009 : 4:19 PM

Tomorrow at 8PM (EDT) I'll be giving an urgent briefing on the latest news on the climate and energy legislation that's moving through Congress, and how you can help get it passed.

Reserve your spot right now by clicking here.


A Postage Stamp A Day June 23, 2009 : 10:16 AM

According to a new letter from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office the American Clean Energy Security Act, our best legislative hope to repower America, would cost approximately $175 per household in 2020.

The author of the bill, Representative Ed Markey said, "Americans know that building a clean energy economy has real value, and this CBO analysis proves it. Low-income American families will see a $40 benefit from using more wind and solar energy and less foreign oil. And for the cost of about a postage stamp a day, all American families will see a return on their investment as our nation breaks our dependence on foreign oil, cuts dangerous carbon pollution and creates millions of new clean energy jobs that can't be shipped overseas."

These figures do not take into account the economic benefits of repowering America. For example last week a new study found that 1.7 million new jobs would be created by clean energy legislation.

It’s good for our economy and good for our climate. The time to act is now.

Tomorrow at 8PM (EDT) I’ll be giving an urgent briefing on the latest news on the climate and energy legislation that's moving through Congress, and how you can help get it passed. You can reserve your spot right now by clicking here.


This is the week. June 24, 2009 : 10:23 AM

According to news reports, the full House of Representatives will vote on the global warming and energy bill on Friday. Make no mistake, this is the most important environmental vote of this generation. If passed this legislation will put us on the road to actually solving the climate crisis, in addition to building a green economy.

Call your Representative: 877-9-REPOWER (877-9-737-6937) and make sure they vote yes.


More Green Jobs Data June 25, 2009 : 11:01 AM

According to the New York Times:

“Following on the heels of a study from the Pew Charitable Trusts last week, two more reports from a broad coalition of environmental groups and research institutes suggest that clean-energy investments have the potential to kick-start the economy and employ millions of workers -- particularly those at the lower end of the economic scale.”

“In a statement accompanying the release of the two reports -- one authored jointly by the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; the other by the institute, the green jobs advocacy group Green For All and the Natural Resources Defense Council -- the researchers assert that a "$150 billion investment in clean energy could create a net increase of 1.7 million American jobs and significantly lower the national unemployment rate.””

It's no secret our economic crisis and the climate crisis and linked, and so are their solutions. We now know that the legislation to repower America will cost less that $175 per family.

The time for action is now.


VIDEO: You have a crucial role to play June 25, 2009 : 12:27 PM

In the next day or so, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the boldest effort in our history to rethink how we produce and use energy in this country.

I recorded a video message to describe what's at stake and how we need your help urgently. Take a moment and please watch it.

Some of the smartest ideas on energy and climate -- ones that have been aired by countless hearings in our Capitol over the last two decades -- are finally getting their due in this bill. And it's deserving of our strongest support.

When people said that we couldn't get a bill out of a House committee with a diverse base of support, we proved them wrong. But it wasn't without the work of many people, including members like you.

Today, we need twice that effort. Please watch the video and call your Representative today.


A Historic Opportunity June 26, 2009 : 1:13 PM

Today is an historic opportunity to pass truly meaningful legislation to limit global warming pollution, vastly expand our use of renewable energy, and use energy far more efficiently. A victory today in the House of Representatives on the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act would represent an essential first step towards solving the climate crisis. This bill doesn’t solve every problem, but passage today means that we build momentum for the debate coming up in the Senate and negotiations for the treaty talks in December which will put in place a global solution to the climate crisis.

There is no back-up plan. There is not a stronger bill waiting to pass the House of Representatives. It’s time to get started on a plan that will create jobs, increase our national security, and build the clean energy economy that will Repower America.

Please contact your Member of Congress today.


Statement on the passage of the American Clean Energy Security (ACES) Act by the House of Representatives June 26, 2009 : 7:44 PM

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Leadership of the House, and Chairmen Waxman and Markey have, through their leadership, secured an important bipartisan victory for the American people.

The American Clean Energy Security (ACES) Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress will ever pass. This comprehensive legislation will make meaningful reductions in global warming pollution, spur investment in clean energy technology, create jobs and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.

The next step is passage of this legislation by the Senate to help restore America's leadership in the world and begin, at long last, to put in place a truly global solution to the climate crisis.

We are at an extraordinary moment, with an historic opportunity to confront one of the world’s most serious challenges. Our actions now will be remembered by this generation and all those to follow – in our own nation and others around the world.


What's Next June 29, 2009 : 12:56 PM

I want to personally thank every single one of you who wrote, called and emailed their member of the House of Representatives in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Those supporting the status quo are sure double their efforts in the Senate to try and stop this legislation, so our work it far from over.

To give you a picture of what we are up against, ExxonMobil has already spent more than $9.3 million lobbying Congress this year. However, I know we can succeed. That’s why, if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to join the Alliance for Climate Protection today by clicking here.

President Obama was absolutely correct when he stated:

"We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true."

We need to carry this message to the Senate. Our actions will determine whether this historic bill becomes law.


What's in a number? June 30, 2009 : 10:02 AM

As the American Clean Energy and Security Act was debated in the House, it seemed as though some members of the chamber were throwing out random numbers when referring to the cost of the bill. As the legislation moves to the Senate, this is an important fact to address. The most commonly cited number from those who oppose this legislation was to claim the cost would be "more than $3,000 a year.”

Here are the facts. According to the nonpartisan and widely respected FactCheck.org, “The $3,100 figure is a misrepresentation of both Obama's proposal and the study from which the number is derived.”

In Washington, the CBO is considered one of the best sources for the cost of legislation. They wrote: "On that basis, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the net annual economy wide cost of the cap-and-trade program in 2020 would be $22 billion-or about $175 per household."

That works out to approximately the cost of a postage stamp a day.