ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
December 12, 2012
Energy and Environmental Goals for Talks
Executive Director, Environmental Law & Policy Center
While the fiscal cliff negotiations ebb and flow, three important energy and environment goals should be recognized:
First, it’s vital that the wind power production tax credit be extended for a reasonable period of time in order for America to continue capturing the job creation, economic growth and environmental quality benefits from modern wind power development. The on-again, off-again PTC uncertainty discourages investment, costs jobs and weakens American clean energy leadership.
Second, federal R&D and commercialization support for renewable energy technological innovations is vital for America’s economic future and global leadership in the fastest growing energy sector. We should not shortchange R&D that can spur innovations in renewable energy technologies, which can help solve America’s energy challenges and be exported and transferred to help solve global climate challenges.
Third, EPA must have sufficient funding to effectively and efficiently implement and enforce its Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act or other statutory responsibilities. Elections have consequences. The partisan attacks on EPA did not persuade a majority of American voters. Unless Congress can muster the votes – unlikely, for now – to change the statutes, then EPA must be appropriated sufficient resources to do its job fairly, reasonably and well to achieve cleaner air and cleaner water for the public good.