WASHINGTON, DC (RPRN) 6/29/2009–Last Friday evening, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the first-ever bill designed to unleash clean energy opportunities, create millions of jobs and combat global warming. Al Gore called this showdown “the most important environmental vote of this generation.” And President Obama promised that a Yes vote would “open the door to a better future.”
Still, the bill’s passage defied expectations. Back in January, few people believed that six months into a new session and a new administration — and in the midst of an economic meltdown — we could pass transformative clean energy legislation in the House.
Well, we did it! And we did it because millions of people like you made their voices heard on Capitol Hill. You fought alongside the NRDC Action Fund because you know that this is America’s single best chance to defuse the climate crisis and create a greener, more prosperous future.
House leaders Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, and Ed Markey deserve a great deal of credit for this success. This was no easy fight. The bill touched off regional differences and challenged Big Oil’s and Big Coal’s stranglehold on America’s energy supply.
Waxman, the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, had to corral many opposing interests to create a bill that would get out of committee and survive the bumpy journey through the Senate and on to the White House. One of the keys to this bill’s success was that Americans from all walks of life urged their lawmakers to back climate action.
–I saw it for myself. In the past year, I traveled the country to help build momentum for national climate legislation, and the people I talked to — from clean energy entrepreneurs in Cleveland to labor organizers in Chicago, from national security experts in Georgia to religious leaders in New York — all believe that building a clean, sustainable energy future will unleash enormous opportunities for America.
I know you agree. And that’s important because we’re going to need you to make your voice heard again and again in the months ahead. We’ll be fighting to make this bill even stronger — and advance it through the Senate and on to the president’s desk. And we need to do all that before the international climate negotiations begin in December in Copenhagen.
The fight in the Senate will be challenging. But just as we defied expectations in the House, we can defy them in the Senate — especially if we have your strong support.
In the coming weeks, the NRDC Action Fund will be turning all its attention to this final push. The House’s historic passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act just gave our efforts powerful momentum.
NRDC Action Fund