Democrats Propose Ambitious Plan For Energy Independence, Say Apollo Alliance Leaders

WASHINGTON – Apollo Alliance leaders praised the Clean EDGE Act of 2006, introduced today by Senate Democrats, as a broad framework for energy independence and development of the domestic clean energy industry. Key provisions in the bill would create good jobs, control gas prices, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and help curb global warming pollution.

“The same ‘can do’ spirit that inspired the original Apollo Program to send a man to the moon can help America achieve energy independence, create good jobs, enhance our security and protect our environment,” said Jerome Ringo, president of the Apollo Alliance. “Today’s proposal sets a high standard. We hope the Republican leadership can rise to the occasion and give us an oil savings plan that’s at least as ambitious. Americans want to know where our leaders stand on this issue.”

The Clean EDGE Act represents a big improvement over the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) signed into law last year by President Bush, according to the Apollo Alliance. It sets a goal of reducing petroleum use by a third of imports by 2020. And it proposes expanded investments in alternative fuels and “flex fuel” vehicles, including gas/ethanol and hybrid vehicles.

“The UAW believes that these provisions in the Clean EDGE initiative would help to ensure that the United States retains a robust domestic auto industry that provides good paying jobs for American workers, while producing the cars and trucks of the future for consumers. In addition, these provisions would set our country on a path towards a cleaner environment and greater energy security,” said Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers.

The new legislation would also establish a nationwide renewable power standard while creating a new Clean Energy Investment Administration. Modeled on the Small Business Administration, the new agency would channel billions in federal loan guarantees to renewable power infrastructure and related manufacturing.

“The Republican Congress has been sitting on its hands as energy prices devastate commercial and residential consumers all across this country. This legislation provides the framework for an energy policy that responds to the real concerns of companies and their workers – how we will have safe, secure and affordable energy supplies in the future and how we can put Americans to work putting those policies in place,” said Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers.

Starting just three years ago, the Apollo Alliance helped to change the national debate by offering a bold, 10-point plan to achieve energy independence in 10 years. Uniting labor unions, environmental groups, community activists and business leaders, Apollo helped inspire public officials to unite Americans behind bold initiatives in the common interest. Apollo’s 10-point plan to invest in clean energy technology and efficiency would create 3 million good jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, curb global warming pollution, slash the trade deficit, and capture global markets of the future.

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**NOTE: To find out more about the Apollo Alliance’s campaign to achieve energy independence or to schedule an interview with an Apollo Alliance leader, please contact Toby Chaudhuri at chaudhuri@ourfuture.org.**