Monday, March 22, 2010


Today, I visited my two US Senators offices to talk to legislative aids about the CLEAR act.  That is the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s renewal act, which is sponsored by Senator Cantwell and Collins.  I am doing this in conjunction with the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

The CLEAR act is a ‘cap and dividend’ act.  It will sell off carbon credits, which will result in higher costs to consumers.  The funds from those sales will be divided into 75% refund for consumers (all legal citizens of the USA) and 25% will go to Congress to invest in non-carbon energy sources.  The goal is to reduce the use of carbon generating energy (oil, gas and coal) and promote the use of renewable energy and energy conservation.  This is a simple bill that keeps Wall Street out of the carbon capping business and will regulate the carbon producing businesses at the top (about 3,000 of them). 

Both Hagan and Burr professed to be in favor of clean energy and protecting the environment.  They both thought mountain top removal was horrible.  I shared with them that I would rather have a windmill on every mountain top in western NC than see even one more mountain top removal in Kentucky or West Virginia.  I also discussed the coal ash pond in southern Asheville, and how kids are getting asthma.  

Neither office promised to be a co-sponsor of the CLEAR act. 

North Carolina folks, you can help get them to be cosponsors of the CLEAR act.  Here is some information from an email I sent to friends about my lobbying for the CLEAR act:

Friends Committee on National Legislation is asking the US Senate to pass the CLEAR act, which is the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal proposed by Senators Collins and Cantwell.  It is not a perfect bill, it is far better than “cap and trade” nonsense that may end up with Wall Street acting as brokers.  This bill will require corporations to buy “pollution permits” for carbon dioxide and the disbursements will go 75% to American people and 25% to Congress to disperse for renewable energy projects.  This has the advantage of being industry neutral, as all industries will pay for their carbon use.  It will also be income-neutral for most Americans, since the added cost for energy from carbon sources (oil, coal, gas) will be reimbursed from the disbursement.  This will push people towards more energy conservation and for more energy independence for the US and towards more carbon-free energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal energy.

Again, you can help my lobby efforts by calling our Senators and telling them to co-sponsor the CLEAR act.

Burr   202-224-3154

Hagan 202-224-6342

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