Solar, Wind, Bio, Energy News And Commentary By_Green Earl, 30 year Pioneer In Conservation & Solar Energy
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brad Collins, ASES
Date: Wed, May 20, 2009 at 6:37 PM
Subject: Bar Set Too Low for House Energy Bill
Dear ASES Supporter,
HR2454 (this is a 900 page PDF file), the American Clean Energy and
Security Act of 2009 misses the mark for several reasons.
Please help us by encouraging Congress to strengthen this bill.
Currently the United States Congress, under the leadership of Chairman
Henry Waxman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman
Edward Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, is working
on the details of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
(ACES). ACES is promoted as a comprehensive approach to America's
energy policy. It charts a course towards a clean energy economy. The
American Solar Energy Society (ASES) commends the committees' work.
Unfortunately, the bill as rewritten misses the mark.
In compromising with competing interests and industries, the
committees have lowered their carbon-emission targets. They've
responded to interests that don't appreciate the crisis nature of
climate change. At this point, the partial solutions proposed will not
sufficiently mitigate atmospheric carbon nor establish significant
drivers for the clean energy economy. The bill coming out of committee
is too weak and has structural defects that require it be revisited.
ASES Policy Recommendations
The ASES Policy Committee spent months working through a series of
recommendations for the 111th Congress. (www.ases.org/policy2009).
We focused on:
· Energy efficiency for buildings;
· Renewable energy for buildings;
· Renewable electricity production;
· Transportation efficiency;
· Smart grid and green transmission;
· Green economy and workforce development;
· Federal leadership; and
There are three areas where the American Solar Energy Society suggests
the bar needs to be raised:
1. In ACES, Waxman and Markey allocate 85% of the emission permits
free, mostly to carbon intensive industries, rather than including
them in an auction system. This give-away provides windfall profits
to the very polluters whom we want to rein in, and gives them a
competitive advantage over companies that have already cleaned up
their act. We want to encourage change, not provide an economic reward
for old business practices. If only 15% of permits are auctioned, only
15% of the expected revenue is available to grow the green economy and
aggressively develop low-carbon solutions to replace high-carbon
2. By 2020, ACES proposes to reduce CO2 17% below the 2005 level. ASES
policy recommendations target a 30% reduction by 2020. The difference
has real consequences for the climate. We need the more ambitious
3. ACES proposes a 20% renewable energy standard (RES) by 2020 with
provision of up to 5% coming from efficiency. ASES suggests that this
is not ambitious enough. We call for 28% RES (with no efficiency
offset) and a 3% solar set-aside by 2020.
Cap-and-trade is meant to be a market-based system. To be effective,
its targets must be set high enough to move the market. Time is of the
essence. We must act now and we must act boldly. ACES, as now written,
is not ambitious enough to move markets. Indeed, giving emissions
allocations away for free simply delays the price signal, and thus the
action of market forces, by some years - years we don't have.
The American Solar Energy Society takes the position that all permits
must be auctioned. They must be auctioned upstream, where carbon first
enters the economy. That sends a direct price signals on carbon, and
produces offsetting revenue to help consumers, businesses and local
governments to choose sustainable energy strategies.
The bar must be high to make a difference. We absolutely need to send
the right market signal from day one. Progress toward a sustainable
energy economy requires consistently ambitious action. The time for
visionary leadership, using 21st century technologies, is now. If you
agree with us, please let your member of Congress know how you feel.
Simply call the Washington switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to
speak with your Representative or click here for the online directory.
Thank you for adding your voice to this important legislation. Your
call makes a difference. And together, we're speeding the transition
to a sustainable energy economy.
With sincere thanks,
American Solar Energy Society