Sample Letter to Senators on Clean Energy Bill
The Deepwater Horizon disaster has been a wake up call for all Americans. Fossil fuels are a dirty, expensive business. Not only are millions of gallons of oil still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, but fishing and tourism economies along the Gulf have been all but crippled, further proof that we’re allowing fossil fuel giants to “externalize” their huge costs on the American people.
But this disaster also indicates the hidden costs that exist even when there is no crisis. The sky and American waters — like the broadcast spectrum and public land — are public assets and need to be protected and valued. Admiral James Woolsey has estimated the cost of the externalities from fossil fuels alone to be $250 billion annually. It’s time to recognize these real costs and make the transition to a clean energy future.
The Senate is now considering the Kerry/Lieberman Act, an energy bill that has the potential to put America on track to that clean energy future. It is imperative that the bill passed by the Senate not just address the aftermath of Deepwater Horizon, but also establish benchmarks for utility conversions to clean energy and put a price on carbon emissions that will reflect the true costs of fossil fuels and provide the opportunities and incentives necessary for private investors to finance new, cleaner technologies. Only if such a bill is passed will America be able to achieve a sustainable energy economy away from dangerous pollution and a dependence on foreign oil.
The cleanup of the Gulf oil spill needs to extend far beyond just our immediate problems with Deepwater Horizon. It’s time to clean up America’s energy economy. I strongly urge you to support an energy bill that puts a price on carbon emissions and to do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues in the Senate to do so as well.