Bill Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society, today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing and sending to the Senate the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), the landmark energy and climate package sponsored by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Meadows’ statement follows:
“When the history of the 21st century is written, historians will mark 2009 as the beginning of an energy revolution that allowed America to transition from an economy based on polluting sources to a powerful economic engine fueled by clean sources. They will remember 2009 as the year America turned away from energy sources that threaten the future of our grandchildren and moved decisively toward new, clean, sustainable energy sources that brighten the future and allow our economy to grow and compete in world markets.
“This is a hard-won but well-earned victory for all Americans who have been concerned about the national paralysis on energy and climate — a paralysis that has kept this country from mobilizing to build a clean energy future and from taking the urgent action needed to head off the worst effects of global warming. We applaud President Obama for making this bill’s passage a top priority of his administration. Today’s House victory was made possible by the courage, wisdom and determination of Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, who have accomplished today what few thought was possible just a few months ago.
“Their willingness to listen, and to accommodate regional interests without compromising the core values of this legislation, has ensured that we will not spend another decade doing nothing while our country burns more carbon, dumping dangerous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
“The Senate now knows that there is strong public support for acting boldly to stop polluting our atmosphere and to start moving away from fossil fuels. Now is the time to act, and the Senate appears ready to build on this victory immediately.
“The clean energy future embodied in this legislation will take time to realize. We know that even if all global warming emissions were to cease tomorrow, continued warming and climate disruption are unavoidable. That is why The Wilderness Society is particularly concerned that we safeguard our natural resources while continuing to cap emissions. The Waxman-Markey bill includes an important new program to preserve the health of our watersheds and wildlife sanctuaries, and provides initial funding. But the size and scope of the challenge means that we need to increase that funding as the bill moves forward, and we look forward to achieving that goal. In addition, as we promote the development of renewable energy sources and the transmission lines that come with it, The Wilderness Society will continue to insist on the need to protect our most sensitive public lands.”
Statement by William H. Meadows, President of The Wilderness Society