Essential Action on the Climate Crisis Held Hostage by Obstructionists in Congress | CT Environmental Headlines

Jun 18th, 2009 | By | Category: Energy Efficiency, Fuel Cell, Health, Legislation, Pollution, Water

Essential Action on the Climate Crisis Held Hostage by Obstructionists in Congress: Strong public support exists for Congressional Climate Leadership | CT Environmental Headlines: NEW HAVEN, CT – Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) is urging Representatives in New York and Connecticut to fight against a small group of Midwestern Representatives who are seeking to hijack our nation’s first meaningful legislation to address climate change.

The current legislation is the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) HR 2454 and the renegades, led by Agriculture Committee Chair, Collin Peterson (D-MN), are alleging the legislation will hurt our economy and farmers. They are working to block this historic and much-needed national strategy.

“The most expensive thing we can do is to do nothing and allow climate change to continue unchecked,” said Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito. “Every Congressional Member who represents a coastal state needs to stand up, be vocal and aggressive in supporting this urgently needed legislation. Congress should not sit idly by and let this opportunity stagnate. We just had 8 years of that and now its time to act.”

The public strongly supports Congressional leadership on the climate crisis. More than 20,850 citizens have signed petitions and more than 5,000 letters have been sent to NY and CT representatives urging swift action to adopt mandatory limits on climate change pollution, maximize energy efficiency, and grow renewable energy production.

“The public understands the dangers of doing nothing and recognize we have the tools to address climate change to protect Americans from all walks of life and regions of the country, but we need federal leadership” said Emmett Pepper, Connecticut & Hudson Valley Program Director for CCE. “Obstructionist Congressmen should be looking to protect the public health from the dangerous consequences of climate change impacts to our health, economy and environment. Our future depends on clean energy, a new economy, and adopting these solutions now.”

The impacts of global warming are predicted to be diverse and widespread, including significant impacts to farming. In addition to rising sea level, melting glaciers and rising temperatures; scientists also predict a decrease in fresh water availability, fish and shellfish, increasingly severe storms and floods, increased drought conditions, widespread disease, and weather-related deaths.

“Family farmers are part of the climate solution by providing local food and a lower carbon footprint,” said William Cooke, a family farmer from Schoharie County, NY. “The climate bill in Congress provides funding for farmers who practice good environmental stewardship and will protect our farming future.”

Climate change is not only damaging farming around the US but it threatens home and property values of all those living in Long Island, Manhattan, coastal Westchester and Connecticut. In contrast to our marine coasts, the Great Lakes are predicted to recede due to increased demand combined with increased evaporation from lack of ice cover and higher temperatures.

“The time is now for Congress to adopt real solutions and coordinated plan to mitigate climate change. Stalling this bill, offering fake alternatives, and distracting the public from the real issues are just a
few of the tactics being used by the opposition,” said Pepper. “The longer Congress takes, the more difficult and more costly the solutions become,” Pepper concluded.

Key Provisions of HR 2454 include:

• Require electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020.

• Invest in new clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, including energy efficiency and renewable energy ($90 billion in new investments by 2025), carbon capture and sequestration ($60 billion), electric and other advanced technology vehicles ($20 billion), and basic scientific research and development ($20 billion).

• Mandate new energy-saving standards for buildings, appliances, and industry.

• Reduce carbon emissions from major U.S. sources by 17% by 2020 and over 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.

• Protect consumers from energy price increases. According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, the reductions in carbon pollution required by the legislation will cost American families less than a postage stamp per day

For more information contact: Adrienne Esposito , CCE Executive Director (516) 390-7150, or Emmett Pepper, Connecticut Program Director, (917) 617-8208.

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