By Ramona du Houx

May 12, 2010

Sen. Kerry introduces federal climate change legislation. Photo by Alex du Houx

The “American Power Act,” federal clean energy and climate legislation sponsored by Senators Kerry and Lieberman, was introduced in Washington, D.C. today.
“I applaud Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman for their tireless work in drafting this important legislation. This legislation will put America on the path to a clean energy economy that will create American jobs building the solar panels, wind blades and the car batteries of the future. It will strengthen our national security by beginning to break our dependence on foreign oil. And it will protect our environment for our children and grandchildren,” said President Barack Obama.

“Americans know what’s at stake by continuing our dependence on fossil fuels. But the challenges we face — underscored by the immense tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico — are reason to redouble our efforts to reform our nation’s energy policies. For too long, Washington has kicked this challenge to the next generation. This time, the status quo is no longer acceptable to Americans. Now is the time for America to take control of our energy future and jumpstart American innovation in clean energy technology that will allow us to create jobs, compete, and win in the global economy.”

This morning, more than 1,500 letters were delivered to Senator Snowe and Collins’ Augusta offices, as Portland-based Critical Insights released a new tracking survey which shows that 72 percent of the people in Maine want Senators Snowe and Collins to support federal climate and energy legislation.

The Critical Insights survey of 600 residents indicates 6 out of 10 respondents strongly support wind power, while only 10 percent of respondents are against it.

“The world will be watching to see if the United States is willing to take a serious leadership role in addressing the threat of climate change and moving deliberately toward a clean energy future by enacting serious legislation this year,” said Lisa Pohlmann, deputy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). “Needless to say, the votes and leadership of Maine Senators Snowe and Collins are critical to its passage. Though far from perfect, this proposal appears to represent the best and last chance to act constructively on climate and clean energy this year.”

A broad coalition of business, medical, sportsman, military, religious, conservation, legislative, and other leaders, have weighed in to urge Senators Snowe and Collins to support strong clean energy and climate legislation that will create clean American energy and jobs. In Maine, more than 500 businesses, 40 public interest and sportsman groups, 100 medical professionals, 111 legislators, and thousands of citizens have already weighed in urging Maine’s Senators to support strong clean energy and climate legislation.

The introduction of a comprehensive climate and energy bill takes place against the backdrop of growing concerns about the real costs of dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, brought home by the enormous environmental oil disaster that continues to unfold on the nation’s Gulf Coast.