July 5, 2009
"Clean energy" legislation a good first step
By Meghan Gillmeg
Some 233 years ago, our founding fathers were involved in a fight that culminated with this great country's independence.
will celebrate this independence this weekend American style. That
would be by donning our red, white and blue, watching fireworks and
enjoying good food and drink. Let's also think about independence in a
different way: energy independence.
Last weekend, the U.S. House
passed the American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009. The
purpose of this act is to "create clean energy jobs, achieve energy
independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean
This act represents a start in the direction of
true energy independence for the United States. Only two House members
from New Jersey, Republicans Scott Garrett of Sussex County and Rodney
Frelinghuysen of Harding, voted against this act.
This bill is
supported by many organizations, including the leaders in the
agribusiness community, a group Garrett claims to represent. According
to Feedstuffs, the weekly newspaper of the Agribusiness, "Passage of
the House bill was applauded by agricultural groups since it included
the farmer-friendly provisions presented earlier in the week by Rep.
Collin Peterson, D., Minn., chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Garrett's no vote was influenced by a $10,000 political action
committee campaign contribution during the 2007-2008 cycle from Koch
Industries, a corporation supplying "communities with energy to heat
and cool buildings, fibers for superior carpets and garments (and)
chemicals used in manufacturing."
Or maybe it was the donation
of $4,000 in 2008 alone from FirstEnergy PAC, an energy conglomerate
with close ties to the Bush Administration, in particular former Vice
President Dick Cheney. It was FirstEnergy, of course, that was possibly
responsible for the devastating, massive power outage of August 2003,
which contributed to at least 11 fatalities and a total loss of revenue
of between $7 billion and $10 billion.
The American Clean Energy
& Security Act may not a perfect solution to our energy production
and consumption woes, but, at least, it is a step in the right
direction for our country.
Garrett and Frelinghuysen are living
in a bygone era of status-quo cronyism and big corporate payoffs, and
their voting record reflects this.
It's time that we stand up for our independence and support clean energy, job creation and the reduction of global warming.