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Unions, Veterans, Environmentalists, Businesses and Sportsmen Urge Passage of Landmark Clean Energy Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jay Natoli, (202) 785-8683 or jay_natoli@lcv.org May 27, 2009  

America’s Building Trades Unions, VoteVets, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the League of Conservation Voters, the Clean Economy Network and the Center for American Progress Action Fund gathered together on Capitol Hill today to rally behind The American Clean Energy and Security Act, which faces a critical vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week.

The landmark legislation will create millions of clean energy jobs, setting the nation back on track to lead the production of clean energy technologies. It would reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help protect the planet for future generations.

“The stakes couldn’t be any higher,” said League of Conservation Voters Legislative Director, Tiernan Sittenfeld. “In LCV’s thirty years in Washington, this is the most important Committee vote we’ve ever seen.” 

The legislation has unprecedented support from diverse constituencies including large corporations, labor unions, veterans, environmentalists, sportsmen, and utilities. The League of Conservation Voters, America’s Building Trades Unions, VoteVets and other allies have run radio and TV ads in key Energy and Commerce Committee Members’ districts (http://www.buildinganewfuture.org; http://votevets.org/pages/?id=0020; http://seasonsend.org/view/home; http://www.lcv.org/fattestwallet; http://www.cleaneconomy.net/campaign-clean-energy-jobs). Supporters of the legislation from across the country gathered today on Capitol Hill wearing shirts that read “Make Our Energy Clean. Make it American.”

While the U.S. was once a leader in solar and wind energy, the majority of the turbines and solar panels installed here today were manufactured overseas. Right now, only about one out of every four clean energy companies is based in the United States. Germany’s second largest export, after cars, is wind turbines, and they also deploy nearly half of the world’s solar panels.

“America must stop exporting clean energy jobs. We think it’s time to lead again and this clean energy bill will jumpstart the economy and create millions of new American jobs,” said Mike Monroe, Director of Government Affairs at the AFL-CIO’s Building & Construction Trades Department, which represents 13 unions with more than 2 million skilled U.S. craft workers.
 
Jon Soltz, an Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org said, “Billions in Middle East oil profits have gone to the same terrorists we’re fighting, and it makes no sense from a military or national security standpoint.  We need to invest as much as humanly possible in a clean energy jobs economy so we will never have to rely on other nations to power ours again.”
 
"Climate change affects a vast number of fish and wildlife species, which will dramatically alter the way outdoorsmen pursue their sports," said George Cooper, TRCP president and CEO. "The funding allocated for fish and wildlife adaptation in the ACES bill is an important step to ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy our natural resources."

Before the committee’s final vote on the legislation later this week, it will hammer out the details on several key provisions.  Today, the League of Conservation Voters takes an unusual step, launching the first ever Special Edition of its environmental scorecard.  Available at www.lcv.org/aces, this committee scorecard will monitor and permanently record these important votes. 

"Innovations in the way we create and use energy are helping companies like SRE create jobs and provide new economic opportunities," said Clean Economy Network member Raymond Walker, Senior Vice President of Standard Renewable Energy, a Texas-based distributed energy services company. "Passing comprehensive climate and energy legislation that embraces new technologies will bring even more jobs and help small businesses across the country."  
 
“For more than 30 years, we’ve ignored the serious energy problems facing this country. As a result, we’ve seen our dependence on foreign oil increase, global temperatures rise and other countries take clean energy jobs,” said Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress Action Fund “The American Clean Energy and Security Act is a huge step forward for our nation. We hope Congress makes history by passing this critical legislation.”             

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