The American Power Act Is Good For America

May 13, 2010 2:28 pm ET

On May 12, 2010, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) unveiled clean energy legislation that will create jobs, increase security, and put America on the path to energy independence.  At a time marked by economic uncertainty and threats to our safety, the American Power Act provides the solutions we need.

Sen. Kerry: "Transforming Our Power"

In a Huffington Post column titled "Transforming Our Power," Kerry made the case for American power:

I don't think there are many people left who really question that we need a major transformation in the way we produce power, the disaster in the Gulf being the latest wakeup call for anyone who was still sleeping. It was the most recent reminder that 40 years after Richard Nixon started talking about "energy independence," we're still stuck or moving backwards -- our economy constantly rattled by the volatile price of oil, our planet's climate increasingly unstable thanks to the pollution we're pumping into the atmosphere. [...]

That's why I'm doubling down on the proposal I'm rolling out today with Senator Lieberman, a work product that reflects six months of contribution from Lindsey Graham, and hundreds of meetings with our colleagues: major energy and comprehensive climate change legislation that meets this big challenge. It's a practical pathway to finally end our addiction to oil, put Americans back in control of our own power production, and release the innovation and ingenuity of Americans to build the clean energy economy we need to build prosperity in the 21st century.

It'll help us create nearly 2 million new jobs, develop new products, and support the research and development to help us maintain leadership in the global economy. And it'll even reduce the deficit by about $21 billion in nine years. [...]

We need to make our country a leader in the production of clean energy technology, from cars and batteries to wind and solar technology to technology we haven't even dreamed of yet. And we direct local, state and federal authorities to take carbon pollution into account when planning new transportation projects. With these new policies and the price signal on carbon pollution, we can finally end our oil addiction and give the wind, solar, and other clean fuels the level playing field they need to grow.

Look, it's long, long overdue for America to lead. Economically, we need to get out in front of the clean energy economy of the 21st century to become the leader on technologies that will power the world.  [Huffington Post, 5/12/10; emphasis added]

The American Power Act Will Boost The Economy And Create Jobs...

Clean Energy Legislation Would Boost GDP By Up To $111 Billion.  According to the University of California-Berkeley: "Comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation, like the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that was passed by the House of Representatives in June, would strengthen the U.S. economy by establishing pollution limits and incentives that together will drive large-scale investments in clean energy and energy efficiency...New analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would ... boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion. These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Would Create Up To 1.9 Million American Jobs.  According to the University of California-Berkeley, "new analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

...And Help Keep Us Safe

VoteVets.org, a "pro-military organization founded by Veterans of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan," released an ad explaining why we need to break America's dependence on foreign oil:

[VoteVets.org Ad: "Tough" via YouTube, 3/3/10]

The Center for American Progress created a useful graphic displaying how America's oil addiction sends billions of dollars to unstable countries often hostile to America and its allies:

[Center for American Progress, 1/13/10]

Print