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Business Coalition Urges Congress to Focus Policy on Existing Clean Energy Technologies

Washington, DC, June 19 – Deployment of existing clean energy technologies is the essential, first phase solution for the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Members of Congress were told today, however, that congressional direction is needed to encourage investments in these technologies if the United States is to achieve the nearly 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions called for in pending climate change proposals.

Lisa Jacobson, Executive Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, testified today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at a hearing focused on various climate change proposals being considered by Congress.

“By implementing policies that drive clean energy investments right away,” said Jacobson, “the United States can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be better able to achieve long-term climate change mitigation goals at affordable costs to consumers and businesses.”  

“Moreover,” Jacobson said, “moving forward with a strong clean energy deployment strategy can be done now, while Congress deliberates the design of a federal climate change program.  This will provide a down payment on greenhouse gas reduction and start the nation down a clean energy path.”

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy is an industry coalition that includes businesses and trade associations representing the suite of currently available technology options for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases which contribute to global climate change.  They include: advanced batteries, biomass, biogas, fuel cells, geothermal, hydropower (including new waterpower resources such as ocean, tidal and instream hydrokinetic), solar, wind, and supply-side and demand-side energy efficiency.  

Jacobson proposed a package of energy policy recommendations that could be integrated into a national, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy, move as a stand alone package, or as individual bills.

“The critical point,” Jacobson said, “is that the nation cannot afford to delay in passing these energy policies.”  

Jacobson offered additional recommendations for the design of a market-based program including: direct allowance value to clean energy technology in the form of output-based allowance allocations, set-asides, and auction proceeds, and direct allowance value to energy efficiency investments; advance complementary policies to accelerate deployment of existing clean energy technologies; and promote adoption of a robust domestic and international offsets program to help reduce compliance costs, with co-benefits.