A draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act is under review on Capitol Hill. During Wednesday's hearing, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson called the hearing serious, difficult, and essential work in crafting comprehensive, detailed energy legislation and moving it through an open, careful process in which representatives hold hearings, make amendments, and cast votes.
The legislation, if enacted, would introduce a clean energy requirement for American electric utilities and new energy efficiency programs for American buildings. Those initiatives aim to create good American jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. According to Jackson, this energy legislation should catapult American innovators past the foreign competitors who, due to aggressive investments by their governments, now enjoy a head start in the advanced energy technologies that represent the new Internet revolution and the new biotech wave.
"It should reduce our dependence on oil and tackle greenhouse gas pollution, which threatens to leave to our children and grandchildren a diminished, less prosperous, less secure world," Jackson said.
The legislation would launch programs to promote electric vehicles and deploy technologies for capturing, pipelining, and geologically storing carbon dioxide produced at coal-fueled power plants. The legislation would also institute new low-carbon requirements for vehicles and fuels, and programs to help reduce vehicle-miles traveled with increased transportation options.