Energize America has joined 29 other organizations in writing to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to call on them to ensure that the stimulus package doesn’t put tax increases on America’s unborn, but
to make smart investments in longer-term, sustained economic prosperity by moving our nation towards a clean energy economy that provides employment opportunities for poor and working-class Americans.
Crisis translates to opportunity.
The current crisis offers an opportunity to make choices for a more prosperous, climate-friendly America.
ACTION: It is time to add all of our voices to this call.
Dear President Bush, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid,
Yes, we do hope that President Bush will hear our voices, that there will be enough of a groundswell to be heard in the Oval Office.
In crafting a national stimulus package, we urge you to consider policy measures that not only help keep our economy out of recession in the shortterm, but also make smart investments in longer-term, sustained economic prosperity by moving our nation towards a clean energy economy that provides employment opportunities for poor and working-class Americans. In addressing America’s current economic difficulties, we have a unique opportunity to not only avoid a recession, but also to address one of the root causes of our current economic woes: high energy prices and our dependence on dirty and depleting fossil fuels. We have an opportunity to act boldly to strengthen American energy independence, invest in the clean, sustainable energy sources that will form the foundation of a new era of economic prosperity, and address global warming – all while putting hundreds of thousands of Americans to work. We encourage you to incorporate the ideas below into a comprehensive economic stimulus bill.
We are facing a miasma of troubles in this country and across the globe. Peak Oil, Energy Prices, Fisal Crises, Economic Inequalities, Global Warming … Common to navigating a path through this Perfect Storm: sensible approaches to energy.
To Energize America and the Globe toward a Prosperous, Climate-Friendly Society requires smart investment, a choice to turn our paths on energy usage from unsustainable, polluting fossil fuel toward greater energy efficiency, non-Greenhouse Gas polluting power options, and renewable power sources.
The great reality of this path: doing Energy Smart will improve the economy, reduce pollution, improve national security, etc … The only reason to not do Energy Smart? No good one.
In general terms, stimulus packages should circulate more income to low and moderate-income households and target investment in labor-intensive sources of national productivity. A natural way to achieve both goals, recommended by the Center for American Progress, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Economic Policy Institute, is to combine increased spending on means-targeted or unemployment-targeted programs (unemployment insurance, food stamps, LIHEAP, etc.) with investments in our physical infrastructure and public buildings. We endorse these proposals but think they should be further guided by the following principle: that all tax cuts and direct spending measures should promote a clean energy economy that provides opportunities for all Americans, including the poor and working class.
Will the stimulus package be filled with “tax increases on the unborn” (so called “tax cuts”) for the tuxedo-wearing base or will the additional debt that will be accumulated serve as investment to strengthen the nation’s economy for the indefinite future.
A choice is before US.
What are some options to consider in a stimulus package that provide an affirmative option to that choice:
- Funding a public Clean Energy Corps that offers work and service opportunities to the young and poor to combat climate change through energy efficiency and weatherization projects;
- Expanded and immediate funding of the recent Green Jobs Act (GJA), Title X of the EISA;
- Directing infrastructure investments toward transit, mixed use dense development, walkable communities, and overall reductions in vehicle miles traveled and our nation’s carbon footprint;
- Investing in improving our electricity grid to be “smarter” in end-use efficiency and allowing greater use of distributed renewable energy generation;
- Using additional monies allocated to LIHEAP for improving building energy efficiency as well as home heating assistance, and removing current constraints on such use;
- Extend production and investment tax credits for solar, wind, and other renewable energy companies to prevent high-growth clean energy industries from having to cancel projects and lay off workers;
- Establishing federal credit guarantees for state and municipal “efficiency utilities” promoting energy conservation efforts in transportation, industry, and buildings;
- Establishing a federal revolving loan fund to support such efforts;
- Providing personal tax credits or rebates to encourage the purchase and installation of energy efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems.
We have a choice before US. We have, collectively dug a deep hole, fiscally, environmentally and otherwise. This stimulus package could help dig that hole deeper or, perhaps, help stop the digging process and turn US toward a path for filling in these holes.
By increasing national energy efficiency, reducing out-of-pocket energy spending, and creating employment opportunities, the measures above will meet basic stimulus goals while furthering national objectives of climate protection, energy security, and economic equity. This year’s stimulus package offers the unique opportunity to advance all these aims, and we encourage you to seize it.
The “stimulus package” could be filled with tax increases on the unborn, increasing the burden on tomorrow’s Americans, or we can focus on investments that will help create a better future for all Americans while improving the world for today’s Americans.
We have a choice before us.
We can all help makeAmerica
Are you doing your part toENERGIZE AMERICA?
- Who are some of the other signatories to the letter? 1Sky, ColorOfChange.ORG, EcoAmerica, Green for All, Sustainable South Bronx, Green House Network, Climate Emergency Council, Solve Climate, and others …
- Earlier discussion of this letter and community action opportunity at Take Action to Support a Sustainable, Just Economic Stimulus.
- Looking for additional ways to take action? Consider investing in a progressive future. Note that Energize America is one of the eleven organizations in the Energy Independence and Environment Progressive Fund.