Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD
), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), joined Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and fellow EPW committee members S
enators Tom Carper (D-DE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), today in announcing an aggressive legislative agenda for the 111
th Congress to combat global warming and create jobs. Their announcement came in response to the challenge laid down earlier this week by President-elect Barack Obama that America will open a new chapter in the worldwide effort to reduce global warming and create jobs rooted in green technology.
“This is a win-win opportunity for our nation’s economy and the environment. We’re currently in a horrible economic position. By investing in alternative, renewable energy, we will create more jobs here in America and it will lift our whole economy, while putting us on a clear path to energy security,” said Senator Cardin.
“It is refreshing to have an incoming president who wants to be a partner with the Congress in protecting the health and welfare of the American public and who understands the connections between global warming, our economy and national security. The health of our economy, the Chesapeake Bay, and all our citizens, are dependent on our success in ensuring clean air and clean water though significant reductions in greenhouse gases.”
On Tuesday, President-elect Obama spoke in a video message to the Governors’ Global Climate Summit taking place in Los Angeles.
Here are some excerpts of what he said:
“Few challenges facing America – and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change. … My presidency will mark a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process …Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security.”
During the EPW press conference on Thursday, Chairman Boxer announced two bills that directly respond to President-elect Obama’s call-to-action, including:
1) Establishing a grant program to reduce global warming emissions under the
Clean Air Act with up to $15 billion a year available
to spur innovations in clean energy, including advanced biofuels. This will be an economic stimulus and follows President-elect Obama’s recommendation.
2) Direct the Environmental Protection Agency to set up a cap and trade system for greenhouse gases that meets the goals laid out by the President-elect. This bill will focus on achieving the emissions reductions needed while restoring the economy. It will be a streamlined bill, which will amend the
Clean Air Act.
Chairman Boxer also announced that the first hearing of the EPW Committee during the 111
th Congress will be entitled “How Fighting Global Warming is Good for the Economy and Will Create Jobs.” A new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors estimates that by 2038, another
4.2 million green jobs
could be added to the economy – thanks to the alternative energy and renewable energy industries, and the benefits of energy efficiency. That could account for 10 percent of job growth over the next 30 years.