1,210 State Legislators Call for Action on Clean Energy Jobs Legislation

National bipartisan coalition of lawmakers calls on U.S. Senate to enact clean energy and climate bill.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now (CLEAN), a national bipartisan group of state legislators working closely with the White House to pass federal clean energy jobs legislation, sent a letter to members of the United States Senate today pressing for urgent action on pending clean energy jobs and climate change legislation. The letter, signed by 1,198 state lawmakers from both parties and 49 states, is the clearest indication yet of broad-based, grassroots support for common sense energy reform legislation that will:

1. Strengthen America’s national security by cutting dependence on foreign oil;
2. Grow jobs and economic opportunity to every state in the nation; and
3. Protect the environment by major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

“Until now, states have been carrying the torch on clean energy reform,” said state Rep. Jeremy Kalin (D – Minnesota), the chair of CLEAN. “State legislators have led the way on growing clean energy jobs and addressing climate change. Our ‘Made-in-America’ clean energy solutions are the key to our economic prosperity and national security. It’s time for Congress to pick up the torch and lead America into the 21st-century clean energy economy.”

And at a time when most other industries are struggling with the difficult realities of this recession, state-led efforts to grow clean energy jobs have put Americans back to work.

The Pew Center on the States found that clean energy job growth has outpaced the rest of the economy by almost 250%, with benefits in every state. In December 2009, the Environment America Research and Policy Center showed that by 2020 state policies already adopted will reduce global warming pollution approximately 7 percent below 2007 levels.

1,200 state legislators from around the country believe that comprehensive federal legislation can build on the clean energy progress made in states – progress sorely needed as the American economy struggles to recover, and signs of devastating global warming persist at every turn. Democrats and Republicans alike agree federal action is urgently needed.

“The actions America takes, or does not take, to transform its energy infrastructure will have an impact on American life that cannot be overstated,” said state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R – Hawaii), Assistant Minority Leader in the Hawaii House of Representatives. “As has so often been the case throughout our nation’s great history, those actions will have profound effects across the global landscape as well. Not since the era of industrialization has technological change held such importance in our planet’s fate, and the fate of its people.”

As men and women from every state put their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan, state legislators from every corner of the country believe clean energy jobs and climate legislation is vital to America’s national security.

Innovation in clean energy technologies is essential as the country seeks to efficiently, affordably, and securely fuel
America’s next generation economy.

“This country’s crippling dependence on foreign oil is a direct and menacing threat to our national security,” said retired brigadier general and current state Sen. Phil Leventis (D – South Carolina). “We need to focus our collaborative efforts on home-grown energy solutions that create American jobs, and reduce international tensions over already scarce fossil fuel resources. It’s time to put the independent, innovative spirit of America back to work fueling our industries, employing our people, and securing a more prosperous, peaceful future for our children.”

The letter sent to Congress today is just one tangible sign of the bipartisan momentum building behind federal clean energy jobs legislation pending in the U.S. Senate, led by Sen. John Kerry (D – Massachusetts) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina). Members of CLEAN, including Republicans and Democrats, will continue working in their respective states and on Capitol Hill to urge final passage of strong federal energy reforms that will create jobs, cut emissions, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

You can download the letter here:

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Rep. Kalin can be reached by phone at (612) 875-2546 or by email at rep.jeremy.kalin@house.mn
Rep. Thielen can be reached by phone at (808) 586-6480 or by email atrepthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov
Sen. Leventis can be reached by phone at (803) 968-6185