This misguided amendment would stall economic growth and ensure our energy sector never fully modernizes. If we don't make progress on clean energy now, the United States will be trying to compete in the 21st century with a 20th century economy.
(Washington, D.C.) Tomorrow the United States Senate is expected to take up legislation to raise the United States debt limit. As part of the agreement to bring this issue to a vote, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has promised to propose an amendment that would strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its authority to regulate the emissions of power plants and utilities. Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) Co-chairs Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) released the following statement on the proposed amendment:
"This misguided amendment would stall economic growth and ensure our energy sector never fully modernizes. If we don't make progress on clean energy now, the United States will be trying to compete in the 21st century with a 20th century economy. At best, this proposal is based on incorrect assumptions. At worst, it protects narrow self interests at the expense of public health.
This is not the time to be timid, but bold. China is investing $12.6 million per hour in clean energy technology to create new jobs and thriving industries. Our energy policy and commitment to public health must match the ingenuity and resolve of the American people. That is why the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition worked with our colleagues in the House to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. This legislation holds the key to unleashing vast sums of new investment that will create millions of new jobs. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and Yale University concluded that the legislation could create 1.9 million new jobs and add $111 billion to our GDP by 2020.
Senator Murkowski's proposal would hamstring the ability of EPA and Congress to regulate carbon emissions and other threats to public health and our country. By doing so, it would undermine our growing clean energy economy. The Senate should reject this amendment and move forward quickly on energy legislation to move our economy forward and put millions back to work in good, paying jobs."