Lexington - Barack Obama campaigned on the need to create a clean-energy economy in the United States. Last week, Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (LexGWAC) and 67 other grassroots organizations sent a letter to the President-Elect to let him know that they intend to support the goal of clean energy, underscoring that this does not include taxpayer investment of so-called “clean coal” technology or unsafe nuclear power.
The joint letter, organized by theCLEAN.org and the Civil Society Institute, outlined 10 needed steps for short-term economic stimulus/job creation and additional movement to a clean-energy economy.
The nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute think tank is an action-oriented research and community organizing center based in Massachusetts. CSI is a convener of a collaboration of grassroots organizations around the U.S. that are organized as TheClean.org, including LexGWAC.
The joint letter states:
“We write to support your stated goals to invest in clean energy and to lead the country toward a new energy economy that will address global warming, stimulate near- and long-term economic prosperity and help ensure our national security.
“As you made clear in your Presidential campaign, and in statements since, a strong economy for the United States is dependent on energy efficiency, investment in clean, renewable energy technologies, investment in new energy infrastructure, and training of our workforce to transit from old energy technologies to new technologies.
“The benefits to the United States are clear. For every $1 million spent on clean energy 18 jobs will be created as opposed to the 7.5 jobs created per million dollars on old energy technologies …”
The 10 steps outlined by LexGWAC and the 66 other grassroots organizations are as follows:
Direct the Department of Energy to build a robust EHV transmission system to provide capacity to transfer power (including wind) from one region in the United States to another;
Support $45 billion in immediate direct government spending for public building retrofits, expansion of mass transit, freight rail and smart grid systems;
Encourage homeowner use of renewable energy technologies by enacting a tax credit of $7,500 for the installation and/or use of energy efficiency saving devices such as solar heating, windmills and PV to generate electricity;
Support $500 billion in investment in renewable energy over a 10-year period, including transiting to a new digital electricity grid;
Support the enactment of a renewable electricity standard of 30 percent by 2020, 50 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050;
Support the extension of the production tax credit for wind projects for 10 years;
Support an economy-wide cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and auction carbon allowances to finance a transition to a clean energy economy, making the funds available for investment and infrastructure costs;
Support the enactment of domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers, and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere;
Support tax credits for cars using hybrid and clean diesel technologies graded on miles per gallon efficiencies — $1,500 and $3,000 tax credits respectively established for cars obtaining 30 and 40 miles per gallon; and
Enact a moratorium on building nuclear power plants and coal fired plants in order to transit to a clean, energy efficient economy while at the same time phase in renewable and energy efficiency technologies that eliminate fossil fuel usage and nuclear power by 2050.