Despite the odds, unions and environmentalists continue push for lame-duck passage of RES
A prominent coalition of unions and environmentalists called today for passage of a renewable energy standard during the lame-duck session, but offered few specifics about the likelihood that such a proposal will actually come up for a vote.
The Blue Green Alliance — which includes among its membership the United Steelworkers, the United Autoworkers and the Union of Concerned Scientists — said passage of an RES is an essential step in creating new jobs and encouraging the development of clean energy technology. The group also called for passage of a number of other energy-related provisions during the lame duck including legislation to better protect mine and oil rig workers, provide incentives for home and building efficiency and expand energy manufacturing tax credits.
But prospects for passage of energy-related legislation during the lame-duck session are slim, as I reported today in our lame duck preview. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) talked last week about moving a renewable energy standard during the lame-duck session. But according to a senior Senate aide with knowledge of the conversation, it appears that Reid decided there isn’t enough support to do so.
Still, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard said the alliance will push for passage of an RES and other energy provisions in the lame duck despite the potential uphill climb. “I don’t intend, as the leader of the steelworkers union, to take the path of least resistance,” he said on a call with reporters today. “I intend to take the path of the most jobs.”
And, in an apparent reference to Rep. John Shimkus’ (R-Ill.) comments about the Bible and climate change, Gerard added:
I don’t believe God’s going to step in and save global warming. I think we’ve got to step in and do something about it.
*Update: *Here’s a copy of the Blue Green Alliance’s seven “best job-creating policies” to pass in the lame-duck session.