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.
The Progressive States Network applauds the Federal Communications
Commission's efforts to partner with state leaders in order provide
universal broadband service to the American people. State legislators
are ready to work with their federal counterparts to guarantee
high-speed broadband to all residents of this country.
Labor and environmental groups joined with the U.S. government on
Thursday to promote high speed Internet access and related technologies
to create green jobs and help lift the United States out of recession.
An overseen benefit of public transit is the creation and retention of sustainable jobs. On January 5, 2010, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Smart Growth America, and U.S. PIRG released What We Learned from the Stimulus, a study that concluded that public transportation generates more jobs than highway construction, although highway construction received more American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds than public transit.
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.
The Green Jobs / Green New York Act (A8901 / S5888), which passed both the New York Assembly and Senate, could be a model for other states. The legislation sets the goal of implementing energy efficient retrofits in one million buildings over the next five years and creating approximately 14,000 family-sustaining jobs. Efficiency measures will help reduce pressures on the electrical grid and provide "environmental, public health, and economic benefits."
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."