American Clean Energy and Security Act

Tue, 2012-07-24 12:34Guest
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Congress: Expedite Renewable Energy

This is a guest post by Stefanie Penn Spear. Originally published at EcoWatch.

In 2009 it seemed as though Congress was finally going to pass legislation that would transition our country to a renewable energy future. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill, would have created a cap and trade system on greenhouse gases, required electric utilities through a renewable electricity standard (RES) to meet 20 percent of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020, subsidized renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and financed modernization of the electrical grid, among many other provisions.

The bill was approved by the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009 by a vote of 219-212, but died in the Senate. The vote was the first time either house of Congress had a bill on the floor that would curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change. Though the bill included some not so favorable items, such as subsidies for carbon capture and sequestration, and not nearly an aggressive enough RES, it would have been considerably better than doing nothing.

In addition to what seemed like progress on federal energy legislation, nearly 20 states had passed their own energy bills mandating a RES with a variety of percentages of renewable energy being generated in upcoming years. These states were at the forefront of the renewable energy evolution and are responsible for thousands of renewable projects that bolstered local economies by creating green jobs and increasing manufacturing of solar and wind products in the U.S. Finally, it looked as if the renewable energy marketplace was gaining ground and we were going to pass federal energy legislation that would create a sustainable economy.

Wed, 2009-09-09 09:05Kevin Grandia
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The Right Wing Attack Machine Behind the Van Jones Affair

You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that Glenn Beck wasn’t the mastermind behind the campaign to remove Van Jones from his position as a special advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality… that would be giving Beck way too much credit.

Turns out that the attack was orchestrated by a fringe group of free-marketeers called the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) who describe themselves as “grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels.” You can read a complete backgrounder on AFP here. It suffices to say they get a lot of money from some of the biggest players in the right-wing attack machine.

It will also come as no surprise that AFP is also behind much of the healthcare reform townhall shenanigans

On Fox News forum AFP’s director of policy, Phil Kerpen brags about how his organization brought down Van Jones:

“I spent the next two weeks researching everything I could find about Jones and the Apollo Alliance (much of which is still to be published, including a forthcoming paper from the Capital Research Center next month), the national umbrella organization for coordinating between the environmentalists, the labor unions, and the social justice street organizers that Jones has served as a board member and a primary national spokesman for.”

This was all then fed to Glenn Beck who gleefully took it to town and hammered away on Van Jones. No kidding, Beck is bent on bringing this administration to its knees and rallying the right-wing fringe players to follow suit. And it won’t stop here, the likes of Kerpen and AFP have found their rallying cry: “Don’t argue clean energy, but instead paint Obama’s policies as a socialist/communist plot to control America.”

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