In this Dispatch, PSN will examine clean energy options that contribute to a green economy, including evaluating the great strides that energy supply alternatives have created in the states that have enacted policies that promote them. We will explain how states have established Renewable Portfolio Standards and how these have created the demand for innovative investment, as well as how to promote new sources of renewable energy, including creative financial mechanisms,
multi-state agreements, and the upgrade of an electrical grid that will better transmit energy from these intermittent sources. And for states looking for new job creation strategies, one key fact is that the production, installment and maintenance of renewable energy sources create sustainable jobs.
After years of states leading the fight to promote clean energy and
reverse climate change and the House passing an energy bill last year,
U.S. Senate leaders have finally introduced climate change legislation,
Power Act (APA). The bill is lengthy and complex with compromises
that many leading environmental groups object to, although other groups have more positive evaluations of the
bill as a flawed, but important step forward.
Amidst a surge of questions on the veracity of climate change, 255
members of the US National Academy of Sciences, which since
1863 has advised the government on scientific and
technological issues, have expressed their disturbance by these recent
“political assaults” and have made it clear: “humans are changing the
climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which
The drumbeat of research papers, talking heads and issue briefs
attacking the scientific consensus around climate change has been
carefully bankrolled by the oil and gas industry. This includes Koch
Industries, the energy industry giant and second-largest
privately held corporation in the country, which is a key funder of a
vast network of right-wing groups -- including many focused on state
policy -- who have promoted climate change denial, according to a recent report released by Greenpeace.
This session, Colorado continues its tradition of being a
national leader in championing clean energy reform through legislative
efforts that expand its renewable energy standards, reduce the amount of
pollution from coal, and promote the funding of clean energy
As California prepares to implement its own cap-and-trade
climate change law, state officials are looking to ease the economic
burden on consumers by using revenues generated to deliver a tax rebate
to families, an approach called "cap-and-dividend."
The debate over clean energy is ripping open divisions in conservative
business lobbies. Debate on federal climate change legislation has led
an increasing number of businesses to leave the Chamber of Commerce,
the National Association of Manufacturers, and other business
associations because of those organizations' stances against
recognizing the scientific validity of climate change. The revolt has
been growing ever since a senior Chamber official called for a "Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" to evaluate evidence of global warming.
Policies that restrict emissions that negatively effect our environment, such as cap-and-trade programs, are often implemented to spur energy efficiency and greater use of clean energy. To combat the negative impact of rising energy prices on low and moderate income households, associated with restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions,the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)has designed a“climate rebate” plan. According to the CBPP, rebates are an effective way to assist households amidst higher energy costs because they allow consumers to maintain their purchasing power while also preserving the incentive to conserve energy and invest in energy-efficiency improvements.
The good news is that next week, ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states will begin holding first-in-the-nation auctions of greenhouse gas allowances, an initiative aimed at capping the pollution causing global climate change.