Highlight of the Week – Senate Prepares to Answer Call With New Energy Legislation

It's still early in session for the U.S.
Senate, but you wouldn't know it by the progress being made on clean energy
Momentum has picked up quickly on a Senate bill similar to
the American Clean Energy and Security Act, recently passed in the House. If
adopted, the proposed legislation would set renewable energy standards for power
producers, create clean energy jobs, and institute a carbon cap system to curb
industrial emissions.


Last week, four
Obama Administration officials, including Energy Secretary Steven Chu, implored the Senate to confront the threat of global
warming directly and move America toward a “new industrial
revolution” by endorsing the bill.


"Denial of the
climate change problem will not change our destiny," said Secretary Chu. "A comprehensive energy and climate
bill that caps and then reduces carbon emissions will."


EPA Administrator Lisa
P. Jackson, also part of the delegation, emphasized that the bill, while fundamentally dedicated
to reducing harmful emissions and re-shaping America's energy economy, also offers
the promise of new green jobs at a time when the economy is


Echoing the
belief that the bill holds great financial promise was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
(D-N.Y.), who said the carbon market initiated by the cap-and-trade system
represents the “greatest market opportunity in a generation”


Though talk of
a revamped clean energy economy is heating up, lawmakers aren't rushing
anything: Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced last week that the deadline for the six
committees working on the bill has been moved to Sept. 28 to allow the Senate to
devote its full attention to crafting the legislation. This should also allow
advocates of the bill to build a broader coalition of support
among their colleagues.

Published: July 14, 2009