MORE NEWS, 6-29 (PRESIDENT ON ENERGY/CLIMATE BILL; NEW ENERGY MEANS GOOD JOBS IN THE MID-SOUTH; A CHALLENGE TO THE ENERGY/CLIMATE BILL)
PRESIDENT ON ENERGY/CLIMATE BILL
POTUS hails 'historic action'
[President Obama's remarks following passage by the House of Representatives of the climate change bill:]
"Today, the House of Representatives took historic action with the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. It's a bold and necessary step that holds the promise of creating new industries and millions of new jobs; decreasing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil; and strictly limiting the release of pollutants that threaten the health of families and communities and the planet itself.
"Now it's up to the Senate to take the next step. And I'm confident that in the coming weeks and months the Senate will demonstrate the same commitment to addressing what is a tremendous challenge and an extraordinary opportunity.
"As always happens when we debate issues of this magnitude we see lines of demarcation. There are those who argue that the status quo is acceptable, those who would have us continue our dependence on foreign oil and our reliance on fossil fuels despite the risks to our security, our economy, and the planet."
From AssociatedPress via YouTube
"…[T]he American people know that the nation that leads in building a 21st century clean energy economy is the nation that will lead in creating a 21st century global economy. I want America to be that nation. And with this vote, the House has put America on the path to being that nation…[J]ust weeks ago, few in Washington believed that this day would come to pass. The best bet -- the safe bet -- was that after three decades of failure, we couldn't muster the political will to tackle the energy challenge despite the necessity and urgency of action. But although Washington may not see it yet, there is a spirit of change that's taken hold across this country.
"As has happened at every critical juncture in our history, the American people are demanding that we abandon the failed policies and politics of the past; we no longer accept inaction; that we face up to the challenges of our time…[T]oday, the House has done exactly that.
"I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for what was a prodigious effort…I also want to thank and recognize the chairs of the committees that worked so hard on this bill: Henry Waxman, Collin Peterson, Charlie Rangel. I want to acknowledge John Dingell, Ed Markey, Rick Boucher, and Mike Doyle -- as well as many others who worked long and hard to get to this day. They spent months carefully crafting a plan that's sensitive to vulnerable communities and industries, and that ushers in a critical transition to a clean energy economy without untenable new burdens on the American people.
"By creating a system of clean energy incentives, this bill complements our earlier actions to raise automobile fuel-efficiency standards, to double our capacity to generate electricity from sources like wind and sun, and to make significant new investments in the research and development of home-grown, renewable sources of energy…I look forward to continuing this work with the Senate so that Congress can send me a bill that I can sign into law -- and so that we can say, at long last, that this was the moment when we decided to confront America's energy challenge and reclaim America's future. That's what this vote was about. It was a victory of the future over the past. And that's what America is all about."
NEW ENERGY MEANS GOOD JOBS IN THE MID-SOUTH
Labor Secretary Touts Green Jobs During Visit
Bill Dries, June 26, 2009 (Memphis Daily News)
"U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis toured Sharp Manufacturing Co. [in Memphis]…as she touted a green jobs movement across the country encouraged and supported by training programs.
"The plant on South Mendenhall Road works around the clock making solar modules, which it has been doing since 2003…Solis toured the assembly line…before announcing the Obama administration will use $500 million in stimulus money to start a series of five grant programs for worker training."
The panels on the Fed-Ex facility at the Oakland Int’l Airport were made in Memphis. (click to enlarge)
"There already are training programs undertaken by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 474, which represents the workers at Sharp, that involve installing solar panels. The programs possible under the grant program could include training workers to make the panels as well as work in developing green businesses…Community colleges as well as individual work places also could be involved in the training efforts.
"One of the grant programs will award money to states to better collect and analyze work force information and direct citizens to jobs in green industries…The other four grant programs will direct workers to careers in targeted industries, including green energy companies and will help create larger energy sectors in state economies…The state energy sector partnerships and training grants are the largest share of the $500 million, with $190 million of those grants to be applied for by Oct. 20."
The panels on the Porsche operations facility in Ontario, Calif., were made in Memphis. (click to enlarge)
"The Sharp Memphis plant opened in 1978 and initially made color televisions, adding the production of microwave ovens two years later. The production of televisions was moved to Mexico nine years ago. Production of the solar modules began shortly after that as the Osaka, Japan-based corporation became one of the world’s leading manufacturers of solar cells.
"The 1 millionth solar module came off the production line at the Memphis plant last year. During her day in Memphis, Solis toured the National Civil Rights Museum…"
A CHALLENGE TO THE ENERGY/CLIMATE BILL
House Climate Bill Called "immoral" by Major Civil Rights Leader
24 June 2009 (Big Sky Business Journal)
"The Waxman-Markey climate bill is "an immoral assault on poor Americans" because it is designed to purposely raise the cost of energy in order to force the working poor to reduce their standard of living, according to one of the nation's leading civil rights champions.
"Roy Innis, Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality -- one of America's oldest civil rights organizations -- made the allegation in a letter to all members of Congress…CORE has been heavily engaged in the national energy policy debate since the publication of Innis' 2007 book, "Energy Keepers, Energy Killers." The book was a Washington Post non-fiction best seller."
Innis is a climate change denier and doesn't understand the potential of New Energy but he raises an important question...(click to enlarge)
[Roy Innis, Chairman, Congress of Racial Equality:] "In my 40-plus years as the Chairman of CORE, I have seen few federal bills that would do more harm to America’s working class and low-income citizens and families than the Waxman-Markey climate tax bill…"
[Roy Innis, Chairman, Congress of Racial Equality:] "The Waxman-Markey bill is designed specifically to make the use of fossil fuels more costly…That will have a disproportionate and negative impact on those who now benefit most from the affordable and reliable power that fossil fuels provide: poor and working-class families."
...THIS is a very important question. (click to answer)
[Roy Innis, Chairman, Congress of Racial Equality:] "In fact, an underlying goal of this legislation is the morally repugnant concept that constricting sources of domestic energy and raising energy costs is a good thing because it will force conservation by consumers…That elitist view assumes that poor, working class families have the ability to bear that 'social cost.'"
[Roy Innis, Chairman, Congress of Racial Equality:] "The plain truth is this: the poor and working families we represent cannot bear that luxury…Americans don’t want 'energy welfare' payments from the government to help ease the sting of these government-driven cost increases…They want continued affordable and reliable energy, which this bill will constrict…This is an explicitly anti-consumer package that will have huge impacts – both direct and indirect – on the struggling families we represent."
"CORE said it plans to launch a national public education campaign against the Waxman-Markey legislation. CORE has more than 100,000 members nationwide."