C2ES Policy Guide Outlines Options for Climate and Energy Action

Press Release
February 13, 2013
Contact: Laura Rehrmann, press@c2es.org or 703-516-4146

C2ES Policy Guide Outlines Options for Climate and Energy Action

WASHINGTON – A new policy guide from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) outlines actions the Administration and Congress can take to protect the climate and meet America’s energy needs.

The new guide, Federal Action on Climate Change and Clean Energy, identifies a range of steps that can be taken by executive action or through legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advance clean energy and energy efficiency, and make communities and critical infrastructure more climate-resilient.

“As President Obama rightly emphasized in his inaugural and State of the Union addresses, we can both reduce climate risks and strengthen the economy by accelerating the clean energy transition,” said C2ES President Eileen Claussen.

“We continue to believe that market-based approaches that put a price on carbon are the most cost-effective means of reducing emissions.  So as the president and Congress seek long-term solutions to the nation’s fiscal challenges, we strongly encourage them to consider a cap-and-trade program or a revenue-neutral carbon tax,” Claussen said.  “But there are plenty of other steps that are politically viable and will make a difference.”

For example, using existing authorities, the Administration could:

  • Build on its new rules doubling the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by adopting stronger fuel economy and emissions standards through 2025 for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Finalize carbon emission standards for new power plants, and develop standards for existing plants (source of a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions) allowing states to use a range of implementation measures, including market-based approaches.
  • Step up efforts to reduce emissions of short-lived climate forcers such as methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
  • Set new energy efficiency standards for household appliances and industrial equipment.
  • Strengthen climate resilience by helping states, businesses and communities prepare for more extreme weather and other climate impacts.
  • Shrink the federal carbon footprint by improving energy efficiency and expanding the use of clean energy in defense and other federal operations.

Working together, the president and Congress can also:

  • Provide continued support for research, development and deployment of low-emitting energy technologies, including programs at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
  • Extend the wind production tax credit and initiate a comprehensive review of all energy subsidies to set criteria for phasing out those no longer needed.
  • Take steps to reduce emissions and promote clean energy in the reauthorizations of transportation, the farm bill and other major federal programs.
  • Establish a comprehensive climate information service similar to the National Weather Service to help states and localities factor long-range forecasts into their adaptation and disaster response strategies.

Read the C2ES policy guide.

To arrange interviews about the C2ES policy guide, contact Laura Rehrmann at rehrmannl@c2es.org.

About C2ES

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the linked challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.