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(Washington, D.C. — June 6, 2016) A coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum are calling for a Clean Energy Commitment to put partisanship aside and take action to advance policies that build a healthier future for America.
The coalition — representing millions of parents, young Americans, environmentalists, hunters and anglers, and national security experts — unveiled the new Commitment today.
Throughout America, support for a new direction in America's energy future is surging. According to a recent YouGov poll (PDF), 80 percent of Americans — including 67 percent of Republicans, 95 percent of Democrats, and 75 percent of Independents — support the Clean Energy Commitment.
The groups participating in this initial launch are American Security Project, Christian Coalition, Defend Our Future, Environmental Defense Fund, Mom's Clean Air Force, National Wildlife Federation, and Young Conservatives for Energy Reform.
"Clean, renewable energy can reduce harmful pollution while creating jobs and dealing with damaging climate change," said Jeremy Symons of Environmental Defense Fund. "The Clean Energy Commitment calls for our elected officials to step up and take action. We have the technology, we know the benefits, but we are missing the will to act and get things done."
"We need the Clean Energy Commitment because America should lead the world in cleaner, more secure energy choices that create American jobs and protect our environment. But today, this shift is being slowed by politics. It is essential to broaden the base of support for energy policy reform, and young conservatives are ready to lead," said Michele Combs, Chairman and Founder, Young Conservatives for Energy Reform.
"As mothers—and fathers, and grandparents and aunts and uncles—we think a great deal about our children's futures," said Dominique Browning, Executive Director of Mom's Clean Air Force. "We know that together, we have to build the world we want to live in. But we also think about the world we are leaving behind. Clean, renewable energy is the only way we are going to get rid of the climate pollution that will endanger our children's future. So at Moms Clean Air Force, we are all in for a Clean Energy Commitment!"
Dr. Alicia Prevost of Defend Our Future, an initiative to mobilize young people to change the politics around climate change, also commented on the views of Millennials. "Young people across the political spectrum want elected leaders who are ready to move past the old partisan divides and on to climate change solutions. We're proud to join the Clean Energy Commitment and make sure that message is heard loud and clear, in Washington and around the country."
"We believe that all families should have access to affordable, clean energy choices like solar and wind," said Roberta Combs, President of Christian Coalition. "Energy choices and cleaner air speak to American family values. We support The Clean Energy Commitment because we want people to work together to align our energy policies with our values."
"Investing in clean energy spurs manufacturing and construction jobs, improves air quality and reduces carbon pollution, protects wildlife and our outdoor traditions, and helps reduce energy costs," said Collin O'Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Wildlife Federation. "We're proud to bring our Federation of hunters, anglers, birders, and other outdoor enthusiasts to this diverse partnership, which has come together to sign the Clean Energy Commitment and prioritize growing our domestic clean energy economy, rather than subsidizing dirtier sources of energy."
Brigadier General Stephen Cheny, USMC (Ret.), CEO of the American Security Project noted the national security implications of the issues. "Climate change is a national security threat that America's military, and militaries around the world are taking seriously. The science is definitive enough for action: the military knows that you cannot have 100% certainty before acting. Climate change alone will not cause wars, but it serves as an "accelerant of instability" or a "Threat Multiplier" that makes already existing threats worse. The time has come for us to get serious, and the Clean Energy Commitment is a prudent way forward."
The Clean Energy Commitment calls for energy policy reform toward three goals:
- Companies that contribute to carbon pollution should be responsible for its impacts.
When companies are responsible for their pollution, it creates incentives for innovation and more clean energy jobs while protecting our kids and wildlife from climate change.
- Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the energy sources of the past.
Rather than using taxpayer money to subsidize the energy sources of the past, we need sensible incentives for the clean, innovative, and job-creating energy sources of the future.
- Everyone should have the freedom to choose clean, affordable energy.
Outdated rules are still limiting who has access to clean energy. Government rules shouldn't stand in the way of our freedom to choose clean energy – especially as the cost of renewables plummets and clean energy jobs multiply.