I attended a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon where an impressively broad coalition of groups, joined by members of Congress, spoke on ACES, The American Clean Energy Security Act. A floor vote for passage of this bill is slated for Friday. Call your Member of Congress Thursday to express your support for passage of this bill. This is not the perfect energy and climate bill. There is still much to be done to get the law and the science into alignment. But it is huge progress and a necessary starting point to begin taking action. It is not the last piece of climate legislation to support. It is the first.
The midday sun beat down oppressively on the large gathering of speakers, reporters and supporters. The event lasted for about 45 minutes, a long time in the heat. But it needed to be a long time because of the incredible diversity of constituencies who were represented in brief remarks. There were environmentalists, labor unions, a human rights advocate, a venture capitalist, a small business entrepreneur who makes solar powered attic fans, hunters and anglers, an Iraq Veteran and a Catholic nun. The amazing thing is that the list could have been much longer. The support for this measure and impressively broad.
Representatives Markey and Waxman spoke and were warmly applauded by the crowd for their leadership. But I think the best line of the day came from Congressman Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania. He said "Drill, baby drill is Flintstones technology, this bill is about future technology." Well said. We need innovation, not ideas from the stone age. Although to be completely fair, Fred Flintstone's car, the model carved out of rock and carried around by Fred as he runs, is a zero emissions vehicle.