Updates and opportunities to act on climate change

At the end of November, we blogged about how the Senate bill addressing climate change (the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act) fell short of delivering the funds needed for low-income consumer relief. Now we’re writing to Senators Klobuchar and Franken to share our concerns with them and we are asking your organization to add your voice.

Our new letter is an updated version of a previous sign-on letter delivered earlier this fall. Both letters reflect our ongoing commitment to:

  1. Hold low-income households harmless from increased prices of basic necessities as a result of cap-and-trade.
  2. Ensure equitable access to potential economic benefits, including green jobs.

If your organization was not able to sign on to the previous version, here’s your second chance! To add your organization to the list of signers, please send an email to leah@mncn.org by this Friday, December 18th.

As you may have noticed, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act is only one of several efforts underway to address climate change. Here are some other updates:

  • The United Nations Climate Change Conference, also called Cop15, is taking place in Copenhagen from December 7th through 18th. You can find detailed information at their Web site. If you’d like to follow a more Midwestern focus, a coalition called RE-AMP has compiled a list of blogs, twitter feeds, pictures and videos from Midwesterners in Copenhagen.
  • Last week Senators John Kerry (MA), Joseph Lieberman (CT) and Lindsey Graham (SC) presented a “Framework for Climate Action and Energy Independence” to inform the debate on cap-and-trade in the U.S. Senate and gain bi-partisan support. For more information you can read their five-page outline.
  • Last week Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) introduced a new climate change bill, the CLEAR Act. This bill proposes a “cap-and-rebate” or “cap-and-dividend” approach where 75 percent of the money raised from auctioning off carbon shares would be rebated directly to every American. The other 25 percent of revenue would be used for clean-energy research and development, energy efficiency, and green jobs assistance. For more information, a one-page summary is available.

We will continue to do our best to keep you informed as progress unfolds, but now is a great time to act by signing on to our letter or calling Minnesota’s senators with your own message. If you are interested in taking action now, please call or email us – we have templates and information you can use!

Leah Gardner (651-757-3063) and Julia Jackson (651-757-3074)

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About Leah Gardner

Leah Gardner was the Minnesota Budget Project's outreach coordinator.
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