Businesses Urge Congress to Lead: Cap, Efficiency, Renewables the Path Sustainable Future

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.”

Key points:

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.

Read the full text with all signatories (pdf).


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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Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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