Friday, October 19, 2007

Clean Energy Popularity

On June 21,2007, the Senate passed HR 6, the Clean Energy Act. It establishes provisions for biofuels for the purpose of energy security and transportation, promotes energy efficiency, establishes provisions for carbon capture and storage research, development, and demonstration, promotes cost effective and environmentally sustainable public buildings, prohibits price gouging, and establishes provisions for energy diplomacy and security.

Here are a few of the
highlights:

  • Increases Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020 (Title 1(Subtitle B(Sec. 502))).
  • Includes a prevention of air quality deterioration regulation
  • Creates more stringent standards for heating and cooling products
  • Requires labels that disclose the energy use of televisions, personal computers, cable or satellite set-top boxes, stand-alone digital video recorder boxes, and personal computer monitors (Title 1(Subtitle B(Sec. 226(a)))).
  • Establishes target goals for the modernization of the electricity grid system, which includes maximizing the capacity and efficiency of electricity networks, enhancing electricity grid reliability, reducing line losses, facilitating the transition to real time electricity pricing, allowing grid incorporation of more onsite renewable energy generators, and enabling electricity to displace a portion of the petroleum used for transportation purposes (Title 1(Subtitle B(Sec. 254))).
  • Prohibits price gouging and market manipulation punishable by a civil penalty up to $1,000,000 fine or a criminal penalty of up to a $5,000,000 fine or up to 5 years in prison (Title 1(Subtitle B(Sec. 609))).
  • Defines price gouging as charging an unconscionably excessive price charged by a supplier. Defines unconscionably excessive price as a price that has a gross disparity from the average price at which the item was offered for sale in the usual course of the supplier’s business prior to the President’s declaration of an energy emergency, a price that grossly exceeds the prices at which similar crude oil gasoline or petroleum that is obtainable from other purchasers, represents an unfair leverage on the part of the supplier, or if the price cannot be attributable to increased wholesale or operational costs (Title 1(Subtitle B(Sec. 602))).

HR 6 is a critical step in the fight to break America of its addiction to fossil fuels and a down payment in combating global warming. The country would become more energy independent, create good jobs, save consumers money, protect our natural resources, and reduce the growth of global warming pollution.

The bill has good language. Rep. John Shimkus (IL-19) should vote for this legislation. It would be a surprise if he did. Although a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he is not even listed as a co-sponsor. Also, Excelon and AT&T are among his top contributors, and he avoids groups that support the bill:

  • Protestants for the Common Good
  • League of Women Voters of Illinois
  • Faith In Place
  • Environment Illinois
  • IL members of Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • Illinois Environmental Council
  • Chicago Audubon Society

John Shimkus: a foregone conclusion and lackluster to the bitter end. The people deserve better.

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1 Comments:

At 27 October, 2007 11:13, Blogger Daniela said...

Thank you for bringing this important bill to light in your very clear post! I am totally in agreement that this could be a crucial (and big)step forward for this nations environmental policy. That is why I am working with a coalition to help keep the standards at the high levels that you outlined in your post and not let Congress buckle under the pressure of auto lobbyist to lower CAFE standards. If you would like to help by reaching out to your representatives directly you can sign our petition at: www.energybill2007.org. Thanks again for discussing this important topic!

 

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