The Comprehensive American Energy and Security, Consumer Protection Act
Since day one of the 110th Congress, Democratic leaders have been building a road map to a clean energy future. The New Direction energy plan will launch a renewable revolution in America, invest in clean technology, create millions of new jobs and strengthen our national security by ending America's addiction to foreign oil.
With bipartisan support, Democrats passed the landmark Energy Independence and Security Act in December. Now Democrats are again working on a bipartisan basis to pass the remainder of their energy plan: the Comprehensive American Energy and Security, Consumer Protection Act.
The battle lines over energy policy this Congress could not be clearer. Democrats have been fighting for investment in clean wind and solar, green jobs and improving the fuel-efficiency of cars and trucks for American consumers. Meanwhile, Republican leaders have stood with Big Oil, defending eight years of Bush-Cheney-OPEC policies that have driven the price of gas over $4 a gallon and increased our dependence on foreign oil. Republicans even voted against forcing Big Oil to drill now on 68 million acres of existing United States oil fields, even though they have been handed billions in taxpayer dollars to do so. Now Big Oil is embroiled in a Jack Abramoff style lobbying scandal with government officials who oversee offshore drilling leases. Democrats in Congress have launched investigations.
Protecting our Coastlines and Family Beaches
Because of actions by President Bush, as of midnight, September 30th, the 27 year bi-partisan moratorium to protect America's pristine coastlines and family beaches from oil spills will come to an end. This means Big Oil will be allowed to set up giant, dirty oil rigs just 3 miles from shore, in plain view from beaches. This littering of our coastlines will destroy tourism and property value along BOTH shores of the United States, putting families and our 4.4 billion dollar fishing industry at great risk.
If this giveaway to Big Oil happens, they will have President Bush and Republicans in Congress to thank. But Democrats are fighting back by limiting areas opened to offshore drilling in a responsible way, plus investing in the transition to clean energy technologies that will turn America away from oil dependence once and for all.
With this Energy Package, Democrats are fighting to protect THREE things:
The Renewable Opportunity - Investing in America's Strength:
Investing in American wind, solar and geothermal power are the key to achieving America's energy independence, recharging our economy and a ensuring a clean, safe planet.
Passing a Renewable Electricity Standard, which would require that 15% of our power comes from wind, solar and geothermal energy will send a signal to markets around the world that America intends to be first in clean technology business. 25 States have already started saving consumers millions through their RES programs.
In addition, we must extend the tax credits for wind and solar immediately. Such incentives are central to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses in the clean tech field grow, creating thousands of new jobs.
There are three to five times more jobs per dollar invested in clean tech energy. It is vital to the equation, this job dividend, green collar jobs, inner city jobs, as well as the high end jobs.
In order to move the nation forward on energy policy, it is important to understand America's energy resources -- contrasting both our strengths and weaknesses.
|Strengths:||Wind: The United States has more wind energy potential than any other country on the planet; we can no longer afford to let millions of megawatts of renewable wind energy sit untapped. Just one windmill can power over 3000 plug-in cars or nearly 1500 homes.|
|Solar: The solar capacity of the United States is equally impressive and untapped.|
|Technology: America has led every technological revolution for the last century. If we focused on developing the clean energy technology solutions of the future, instead of sticking with the dirty technologies of the past, we will create an American economic driver for the next century. Make no mistake, America is in a global race for next generation renewable technologies. Even oil-rich Middle East nations, such as United Arab Emirates, are investing billions into wind and solar. These are the technologies that will drive the 21st century econonomy. America can not afford to fall behind.|
|Weakness:||Oil: The United States only has 2% of the world's oil supply. Yet America currently consumes 25% of the world's oil resources. As developing nations like India and China increase the amount of oil they consume, it is clear that America must look to alternative sources as soon as possible.|
The facts are clear. America can not drill our way to energy independence.
For a comparison between Democratic and Republican Energy Plans, CLICK HERE.
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