Environment America Submits Recovery Plan

America can reduce global warming pollution by nearly 10% annually, replace the power equivalent of 170 coal fired power plants, and create or sustain more than 3 million jobs by making investment in clean energy and transportation a cornerstone of our economic recovery plan, according to a report by Environment America.

Environment America’s report, Clean Energy, Bright Future, estimates
the environmental benefits of $150 billion in investments in clean
energy such as wind and solar power and green infrastructure such as
public transit. These investments will reduce carbon dioxide emissions,
the leading cause of global warming, by 670 million tons per year when
fully implemented.  This would represent a significant step towards
reducing the nation’s global warming pollution to what scientists say
is necessary to avert the worst impacts of global warming.

“Our nation can no longer afford the toll dirty energy is exacting on our environment and economy,” said Rob McCulloch, report author and transportation advocate with Environment America. “Clean energy can protect our environment and rev our economic engine to generate a brighter future for America.”

“If we continue with business as usual–dirty energy and highways to nowhere–we will be laying the groundwork for decades of increased global warming pollution,” said McCulloch. “Green infrastructure means more and better jobs now, as well as less global warming pollution, fewer asthma attacks from air pollution, more clean lakes and rivers for drinking water, swimming and fishing, and more secure energy in the long term,” added McCulloch.

Every part of the country has the opportunity to benefit from a green economic recovery and transition to a new energy economy, according to the group. For example, the Blue Line extension of the Charlotte Area Transit System will connect Downtown Charlotte to fast-growing suburbs northeast of the city and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte would save 80,000 barrels of oil and prevent 16,000 tons of global warming pollution per year, the equivalent of taking 2,700 cars off the road annually. If funded, work could begin on the project within four months and the line could be operational within six years. Fully funding this extension would require a $740 million federal investment, serve 17,500 riders, and create 34,000 total jobs.

Environment America’s proposals have the potential to meet the bulk of President-elect Obama’s goal of creating or sustaining nearly 3 million jobs and will help the president-elect fulfill his promise to reduce the nation’s oil dependence, according to the analysis.

Among the recommendations in the report are weatherizing U.S. homes and businesses, training workers for new, clean energy industries, and increasing public transportation capacity to meet rapidly growing demand. 

Environment America warns that Big Oil, King Coal, the road-builders and other polluting interests want to dominate the economic recovery program. “We are calling on our new Congress to keep it clean and pass a green recovery plan for a cleaner, safer, stronger America,” concluded McCulloch.

The complete report is available at the link below.

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