Sen. Charles Schumer is an advocate for climate legislation and said in July that he believed such legislation would attract the 60 needed votes.
In this letter to a constituent, Schumer expresses his support for a bill “that gets America running on clean energy, ends our dependence on foreign oil and includes energy incentives that help businesses create jobs and consumers realize the benefits of clean energy without seeing their costs rise.”
Thank you for writing and expressing your support for strong climate change legislation. I share your concern about the harmful impacts climate change is having on the environment and I believe it is necessary to curb climate-altering emissions in order to protect the environment for our and future generations.
Scientists tell us that carbon emissions are causing dramatic changes in global climate. These changes could ultimately lead to ecological disasters, including species extinctions, floods, and increasingly severe natural disasters. Such change could have damaging effects on people, too — as sea levels rise and droughts become more severe, it could come increasingly hard to feed the world’s growing and hungry population. Communities who live on the margins of health, especially those in the developing world, will be the hardest hit by climate change and also the least able to adapt to cope. I am concerned by this imminent and potentially catastrophic threat, and I believe that we must do everything we can to minimize it.
Experts tell us that burning fewer fossil fuels is a critical component to fighting climate change which is why I have made increasing our country’s energy efficiency a top priority. I introduced the Save American Energy Act (S. 548), which would reduce energy demand and save money through energy efficiency measures, including offering discounts and rebates for Energy Star appliances, installing programmable thermostats, and properly insulating homes and businesses. These energy efficient measures would curb our energy demand and save Americans hard earned money and the technologies exist today to achieve the increases in efficiency that my bill demands — all we need do is create incentives for their implementation. I have also voted to increase automobile fuel economy, a move that would save 10.7 billion gallons of gas annually by 2020. With smart changes, like these improvements in efficiency, our nation can grow our economy while shrinking our dependence on petroleum, reducing fuel costs, and protecting the environment.
Balancing both environmental and economic concerns in any climate change proposal, such as a cap and trade program, is critical as well, and I believe Congress can both successfully protect our natural resources and strengthen the economy with appropriate reform. I look forward to voting on a bill that gets America running on clean energy, ends our dependence on foreign oil and includes energy incentives that help businesses create jobs and consumers realize the benefits of clean energy without seeing their costs rise.
Climate change matters to all of us and we need smart, pragmatic policies now if we are to address this crisis. We cannot afford to delay action in the hope that a “silver bullet” will save us: there will be no perfect new technology to produce infinite energy, no special sponge to take carbon out of the air, no global air-conditioning system. It takes lots of smart changes in the ways that we make and use energy to fix this problem, and we need to approach this complex problem from every angle possible.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me on this import issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can ever be of assistance to you on this or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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