Thursday, April 29, 2010
The KGL Bill: It's not perfect, but it's all we have.
If you've been following the news of the climate bill (aka the KGL Bill, for Kerry (D-Mass), Graham (R-S.C.), and Lieberman (I-Conn) who are the chief architects of the bill) then chances are your head is spinning. I know mine is.
It was supposed to be unveiled on Earth Day, but that didn't happen. They didn't want people to associate the bill with anything "green" since it's more about energy independence than, well, the green movement.
Then it was going to be unveiled on Monday of this week, but Senator Graham got his boxers in a bunch over the timing/release of the immigration bill he's also working on. (Politicians can be such divas!)
The bill was solid, then it was doomed, now there's possible hope, but...you get the picture.
On the up side, the bill would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. This would be accomplished through a variety of mechanisms, including a "cap and trade" system for utilities. On the down side, it included major sweeteners for nuclear power, offshore oil and gas drilling, manufacturers, "clean coal" research and energy consumers.
Organizations like Greenpeace are saying that "...congress needs to get back to work on creating a bill that does more to reduce emissions, without giving money to the coal and petroleum industries." Coupled with the fact that BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell ("allegedly") support the bill, I started wondering why I was supporting it.
From what I've been reading, it seems most analysts agree that this is it for a climate bill. It's now or never -- well, maybe "Now, or a really long time from now." I think we all know that time is of the essence.
One of the issues that I keep hearing opponents bring up is the doom and gloom of job loss if the bill passes. What they don't mention, for obvious reasons of self-interest, is that there would be so many new jobs created.
The Daily Green reports, "In 2006, China had 3 percent of the solar panel market. Today, China's share is 45 percent."
3% --> 45% = job creation
Embarrassingly, they also report that, "...as a percentage of gross domestic product...U.S. investments in clean energy don't even crack the top 10. We're No. 11, behind Mexico. Yes, Mexico."
This week, President Obama gave a speech about "staking America's future on clean energy" at the Siemens Energy plant in Fort Madison, Iowa, where wind turbine blades are made.
After touring the plant, Obama said, “It was remarkable, made all the more so when you consider that just a few short years ago, this facility sat dark and quiet. Today, it’s alive and humming with more than 600 employees, almost two-thirds of whom found themselves unemployed before landing here.”
We can't afford -- as a country, or as humans -- to let this bill fail and allow our policy remain status quo. The status quo has clearly left both our country and the environment in despair, so I feel like it's time to show our support for the KGL Bill and start making some changes.
You can visit the Environmental Defense Fund's website to send a quick and easy email to your Senators. Worth even more than that is a phone call. EDF also provides you with all of the information you need to make the call - including what to say.
The time for change is now!
Edited to add: I called both of my Senators this morning and have put a video of it up on my blog. Click over to see just how easy it is.