Second Presidential Debate Highlights “Agenda Gap” on Energy; 100 Organizations Present Energy Plan for “First 100 Days”

WASHINGTON, D.C.In a heated exchange in the second presidential debate, the focus was on who would do the most for the coal industry and who would drill even more for oil and gas on public land.  In stark contrast to this discussion, 100 grassroots organizations with 1.7 million members nationwide today issued a “First 100 Days” clean energy agenda for the next President of the United States. The American Clean Energy Agenda focuses on reducing our reliance on coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power, and supporting rapid expansion of renewable energy.

The full text of the agenda and the list of the 100 groups endorsing it so far are available online at http://www.AmericanCleanEnergyAgenda.org.  The first-100-days clean energy agenda is an outgrowth of the American Clean Energy Agenda project, which was unveiled in June 2012 and initially supported by 36 U.S. citizen organizations, including three West Virginia groups – Coal River Mountain Watch, Christians for the Mountains and OVEC. 

“American citizens’ health must come first in any decisions about national energy policy,” said Coal River Mountain Watch Executive Director Vernon Haltom. When that happens, renewables and efficiency stand out as the clear choices. Why would anyone choose to endanger the publics health with methods such as mountaintop removal coal mining when truly clean, affordable options are available to us?

Allen Johnson, with Christians For The Mountains, said, “Whoever is president these next four years must exert compelling leadership to establish water and energy policies that ensure sufficiency, reliability, and affordability while protecting public health and environmental quality.  The technology is available. The public is willing.  Only powerful vested interests stand in the way. The next President needs to exert moral courage and steadfast persistence to launch a bright, clean energy future.”

 “Energy efficiency and green energy are the key to the future of our country,” said Dan Taylor, energy efficiency coordinator for OVEC. “We need policies that create new jobs, protect our ecosystem and save not only our valuable resources for the future, but also that save people and businesses money. The green economy must be brought to all of American, especially those areas hardest hit economically, like Appalachia. The president for the next four years must make sure that we transition to this new clean economy and that we conserve our energy to keep us on a sustainable track for the future.”

 

Civil Society Institute President Pam Solo said:   “In poll after poll that we’ve conducted, it’s clear the public supports a truly clean energy future.  The public favors energy sources that are not water intensive and which not pose health risks or require unending subsidies from public funds. They understand that it cannot happen overnight and that it will only happen when serious policy making replaces public posturing.  The American Clean Energy Agenda is a call for decisive leadership toward a truly clean energy future.”

 

The first-100-days clean energy agenda calls on the next U.S. President to:

 

·         First, work to establish a much-needed national water policy in order to avert or mitigate the current and future water scarcity problems that face the nation if today’s electric generation mix remains unchanged or becomes even more dependent on fossil fuel-fired and nuclear power.  Power generation in the U.S. currently accounts for 50 percent of all water withdrawals and 41 percent of all fresh water withdrawals.

 

·         Second, the President must establish sustainability criteria to guide the choice and deployment of new electricity generating technologies. Americans require and support a power system that is affordable and reliable, consumes modest volumes of water, substantially reduces public health impacts, improves environmental quality and addresses climate change. The incoming administration should work to eliminate all public support for energy technologies that do not meet these criteria.

 

·         Third, the next administration must begin to make energy efficiency and non-combustion-based renewable energy technologies the core of the electric power system and adopt policies and programs that lead to eventual replacement of fossil fuel-fired and nuclear power plants.

 

·         Fourth, and finally, the next President must make it a priority to ensure that the United States becomes the acknowledged global leader in job-creating clean energy technologies and in confronting the challenge of climate change.

 

Note:  The sponsors of the American Clean Energy Agenda initiative do not endorse or intend to endorse any candidate for office.   The release of the “100 Days” report is intended to provide information to the public on what constitutes an effective problem-solving energy policy. Provided to HNN from Press Release from OVEC. 

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