Earlier this week leaders from 185 businesses and organizations, along with 77 individual activists, delivered to Congress a letter urging members that “greenhouse gas emissions can be cut swiftly and in an economically and environmentally sound way by means of a national emissions cap that is realized through a combination of aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy standards.”
By focusing on this three-pronged strategy (i.e., carbon cap + efficiency + renewables), it may prove unnecessary – for the moment at least – to tackle either of the two most controversial options for addressing climate change: creating a “trading system” for emissions credits or imposing carbon taxes.”
Additionally, the letter emphasized that “climate legislation that promotes continued or expanded use of fossil fuels and/or nuclear power, or which rolls back existing environmental safeguards, could result in a bill that might actually be worse than no bill at all.”
Cap, conserve, renew
- The United States should establish a mandatory cap on allowable greenhouse gas emissions as well as both a near-term and a longer-term schedule for reducing overall emissions to levels consistent with the best science now available (e.g., 30% or more by 2020).
- The cornerstone of near-term U.S. climate policy should be quickly reducing energy waste and fossil fuel consumption. Rapidly curbing energy consumption by 30% or more is well within reach.
- The goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025 – or an even stronger one – should be formally incorporated in Senate climate or energy legislation.
No coal, no nukes, allow the EPA to do its job
- U.S. climate policy should include the aggressive phase-out of coal-fired plants and oil use in the transportation sector. Federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industries should be ramped down considerably, if not completely eliminated.
- There should be no financial or regulatory incentives for new nuclear construction or relicensing of existing plants.
- Existing environmental or human-health safeguards should not be rolled-back; in particular, the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2 emissions should be left intact.
The Sustainable Energy Network is an unincorporated network founded in 2006 comprised of 625+ organizations, businesses, and individuals advocating aggressive development of sustainable energy technologies to curb energy imports, slash greenhouse gas emissions, and phase out nuclear power.
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