NEW YORK — Today, Progressive States Network (PSN) lauded
President Obama's decision to accept California's tough new 35.5
miles-per-gallon fuel emissions standards. The group hailed today's
victory as a landmark example of states' power to set national policy
by outpacing federal legislation.
Said PSN's Interim Executive Director, Nathan Newman, "The spin from
auto industry executives is that Obama's decision demonstrates the
wisdom of letting the federal government set a unified national
standard instead of a 'patchwork' of state regulations. In fact, the
complete opposite is true. If it weren't for California pushing to set
standards that outpaced the Bush Administration's pitifully low ones,
there would be no new regulatory framework to enact today."
As concerns about reliance on foreign energy resources increase and we try to combat climate change by reducing our emissions and expanding renewable energy use, there has been an increase in talk about public financing of clean energy improvements.
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 Washington State House has voted to establish a comprehensive "green economy jobs growth initiative" that aims to increase the number of green jobs to
25,000 by 2020. "Green jobs" is the term used to describe the
good-paying, sustainable jobs that are created through environmentally
sensible projects. For example, increased energy efficiency
requirements will require work retrofitting buildings all across America with solar panels, insulation and other weatherizing materials. The federal Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorized $125 million per year to create green jobs worker training programs, was included in the recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act.
Companies are required to calculate the risks to their businesses based
on a range of potential threats to their business models, but there is
currently no requirement that they calculate the potentially
catastrophic costs of climate change. A few U.S. companies do so
voluntarily, but most do not.