News & Politics
Dear ________: As the Congress turns its attention to the subjects of energy and climate change, we want to urge you to approach these important issues in a two-step process. First, we believe that the Congress should pass the energy legislation that has been approved by the Senate Energy Committee and which takes a very large step in moving our nation toward a clean energy economy, while increasing our national energy security. The energy bill makes important investments in clean energy and energy efficiency that will begin the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing global climate change. In short, it is a real step in the direction of addressing climate change. The Senate Energy Committee reported the energy bill on a bipartisan basis, and it will maximize the production of renewable energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. It does so by creating a regulatory structure that will smooth the way to building an interstate highway of transmission to move the renewable energy from areas where it can be produced to the load centers where it is needed. The energy bill also creates a Renewable Energy Standard with an efficiency component which will increase renewable energy production and help consumers save money by decreasing their energy consumption. The bill includes provisions that will increase the energy efficiency of our appliances, buildings, and industrial processes. Finally, it includes incentives to move toward utilizing clean coal and carbon sequestration technology and opening up the eastern Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas development to produce more energy here in America and make us more energy independent. All of these provisions and many more are the steps we need to take as we begin to reduce our carbon emissions. They are also steps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our national security. Passage of this energy legislation will send a very strong signal to the world that we are serious about addressing climate change and maximizing our production of renewable energy. We recognize and support the need to address climate change, but we strongly feel that the first step is to pass the energy bill crafted by the Senate Energy Committee and capitalize on the significant greenhouse gas reductions that will come from the passage of that bill. When we complete that, we should further examine the complicated issues of targets, timetables, allocations, and mechanisms by which we will deal with climate change legislation. It seems clear to us that Congress will not be able to complete work on a climate bill this year, so waiting until next year to move the bipartisan energy bill through Congress will only delay the progress we can make in reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on foreign oil. We hope you will consider bringing the energy bill to the floor for debate and passage as soon as possible.