The Fight for Climate and Energy Legislation is Not Over
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) decision to delay a floor debate and a vote on the RES-less energy bill until the fall is clearly disappointing, it is important to remember that the fight to enact comprehensive climate and energy legislation is far from over.
In many ways, Reid’s decision to punt on the measure may be a blessing in disguise. After all, as the Senate prepares to adjourn for its August recess by the end of this week, the Hill champions of an RES (and there are many) will have more time to convince their colleagues of the myriad benefits of an RES, and hear from their constituents who are demanding action.
Chief among the advantages of an RES, and what should resonate with voters before the November elections, is the substantial number of jobs that the national adoption of a robust RES would stimulate. For example, an RES of 25 percent by 2025, with strong near-term targets, would generate 274,000 jobs across the U.S., according to a Navigant study released in February. Without such a policy, we will continue to lose jobs to countries like China, which has committed to making renewable energy a national priority.
Let’s hope that members of Congress use their time off to reflect on an energy solution that moves our country in the right direction.
Clearly, our current energy policy, with its top-heavy emphasis on fossil fuels, is “unsustainable,” to quote President Obama.
The U.S. has the potential, the resources and the innovative spirit to create and lead the world’s next great industry, if it chooses. And we should. It’s time for our legislators to realize that what is best for our country is not more of the same, but meaningful energy reform.