WASHINGTON – On the heels of their testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, four members of President Obama’s Cabinet have published op-ed columns in regional newspapers throughout the country. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack each draw on their respective areas of expertise to make the case for a comprehensive energy plan that will free America from the grip of foreign oil while creating millions of jobs and reducing harmful pollution.
We decide on historic energy legislation that would create a generation of clean-energy jobs here in America, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and prevent the worst effects of climate change. I believe passing a strong energy and climate bill is the single most important step we could take to secure our economic prosperity and leave a healthier planet for future generations…
President Obama is committed to signing comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will position America where the puck is going to be. The government can’t solve this problem alone, but it can provide the right incentives for America’s entrepreneurs, industries, and innovators to transform how we produce and use energy…
We have talked for decades about the energy problem; it is time to solve it. By passing a comprehensive energy bill that spurs a revolution in clean technologies, the United States can position itself to lead this new industrial revolution. This is our opportunity to shape our energy destiny, and we must seize it.
Our nation’s clean-energy future has been one of the most debated issues in Washington in recent months. As Congress works to pass a landmark energy and climate bill, the conversation has often fallen into a familiar pattern of right against left, and Democrats against Republicans – partisan divides that threaten to hold back necessary change.
But when I travel beyond the environs of Washington, I hear a different discussion.
People across the nation ask me about clean-energy jobs in their communities. They want to know how we can cut pollution. They are concerned that the changing climate means they won’t be able to vacation on the same beaches in the years ahead, and they are eager to know if the factories in their cities can be saved by manufacturing wind turbines or solar panels. I meet Democrats and Republicans who agree that our dependence on foreign oil jeopardizes our economy and security…
Clean energy needs strong incentives and support if we are to lead the new global economy, and that’s what the clean-energy bill before Congress provides. It’s up to Democrats and Republicans across the nation to let lawmakers know that we need to confront economic, environmental, and security issues that affect us all. When it comes to clean energy, the American people need to show they aren’t concerned about whether we follow Democrats or Republicans, as long as we lead the world.
Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
“The way to a new energy future” (7/19)
… The choice is clear, and the economic opportunities too great to miss. Will we rise to the challenge?
It is time that Washington step up to the plate, just as states like Colorado and local governments are already doing. Congress must pass strong and effective legislation that will steer our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates new jobs and improves our energy security…
American business is responding to these new opportunities. Companies are investing in wind farms off the Atlantic seacoast, solar facilities in the Southwest, and geothermal energy projects throughout the West.
We need comprehensive legislation that will create new jobs, promote investment in a new generation of energy technology, break our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Let us rise to the energy challenges of our time.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Des Moines Register
“Addressing climate change could revitalize rural America” (7/21)
…This issue is too important for agriculture and forestry to sit on the sidelines. The opportunities it offers farmers and ranchers through a carbon market and a new energy economy are too promising to delay. Because, when we address climate change, we will not only fend off a looming climate crisis, but we will revitalize rural America.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed and the Senate is considering legislation to create a viable carbon-offsets market – one that rewards farmers, ranchers and forest landowners for stewardship activities. An offsets market represents a significant economic opportunity for farm communities. Addressing climate change also has the potential to play a very important role in helping our country wean itself from foreign oil. Landowners can play an important role in providing low-carbon renewable energy…