Jason Barton

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What’s Necessary To Compete For Clean Energy Jobs

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Monday, December 7, 2009

By Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

Chairman, House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

The winds of change blow into Copenhagen this week, as the United States and 200 other nations will meet for the UN Climate Conference. Copenhagen will indicate which nations are serious about energy security, ending oil addiction, cutting carbon pollution and creating clean energy jobs.

This week, I am pleased to host this discussion on the NationalJournal.com Copenhagen Insider blog, as I believe Copenhagen will reset both the international and domestic debate for the next year. To get started, here are two key areas to watch:

New U.S. Leadership

President Obama arrives in Copenhagen next week, with a refreshing new message for the world:  The United States is ready to be the leader, not the laggard, in the clean energy economy. He will back up this proclamation by proposing a carbon pollution reduction target in the range of 17 percent by 2020 and investment proposals to create clean energy jobs and technology at home that can be spread to other nations to help cut global warming pollution.

Obama has the backing of the House of Representatives, which passed the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy & Security Act this summer. He is also strengthened by bipartisan movement in the Senate from Sens. John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman. This week he received another positive sign from the Senate, as a group of key moderates sent him a letter calling for action in Copenhagen. This letter addressed energy security, reciprocal commitments, verification, technology cooperation and trade provisions that are congruent with proposals included in Waxman-Markey.

Action In China

The myth that China will not agree to emissions reductions has long been the primary talking point of “do-nothing” voices in Congress. That blockade could be set to fall in Copenhagen. The first sign of movement occurred this fall at the GLOBE International forum, when I joined with Chinese Congress Chairman Wang Guangtao on the Markey-Wang principles. They covered energy efficiency standards, forestry preservation, and renewable energy measures to help limit global average temperature rise to 3.6 degrees F. More than 100 legislators from the major economies committed to enacting legislation in their countries that meet these principles and speed the transition to a clean energy economy.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

December 7th, 2009 at 7:50 pm