Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A National Global Warming Solution

This is a serious piece of the puzzle, from Environment Massachusetts:
Boston, MA- A major draft bill released today by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Energy & Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) sets the stage for Congress to pass historic energy and global warming legislation, according to Environment Massachusetts.

The draft bill uses a framework advanced by major U.S. businesses.

"This is a pragmatic bill that tries to balance a historic opportunity to unleash clean energy to rebuild our economy and stop the climate crisis, with the diversity of views on the Energy & Commerce Committee," said Environment Massachusetts Field Organizer Winston Vaughan.

The draft legislation released today in Washington D.C. follows in the footsteps of major bills passed last year by the Massachusetts legislature designed to tackle global warming emissions and boost state efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

"I commend Chairmen Markey and Waxman for their ongoing leadership in the area of global climate change, which is the most pressing environmental issue of our time." Said Representative Smizik (D-Brookline), Chair of the newly formed Global Warming Committee in the State House. "Last year in Massachusetts, we passed the Global Warming Solutions Act, which will require the Commonwealth to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. A strong federal climate change program is critical to addressing this pollution problem and will help states like Massachusetts achieve their emissions reduction goals. I look forward to supporting Chairmen Markey and Waxman as they work to garner support from their colleagues in Congress."

Other Bay State Legislators also expressed their support "As we work to build Massachusetts' clean energy economy and put Bay Staters to work building solar panels and wind farms, we'll need a strong partnership with the federal government," said Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) Vice-Chair of the State Senate Environment Committee. "Today's bill from Chairmen Waxman and Markey is a great step in that direction."

The draft bill sets standards to repower America with clean energy, including a requirement that the nation obtain 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, like wind and solar power, by 2025. The draft bill also requires the United States to reduce its global warming emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 through a combination of domestic action and efforts to help stop tropical deforestation."
Smizik and Eldridge really make the critical important point: we did great work in Massachusetts passing a major bill that will reduce our emissions, but at the end of the day this is a global problem and therefore requires a global fix. America needs to lead on this issue - and the Markey/Waxman bill would be an absolutely amazing first step.

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