Final climate change plan for new administration released

The Presidential Climate Action Project has released its long-awaited plan for revitalizing the nation's economy, protecting the environment and enhancing national security through bold climate action...

• Panel calls for aggressive action to address climate change; Recommends president-elect boost economy, create jobs through transformational new energy policy

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 13, 2008 -- The Presidential Climate Action Project has released its long-awaited plan for revitalizing the nation's economy, protecting the environment and enhancing national security through bold climate action.

Former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart, a member of the PCAP advisory committee, said that despite the severe economic challenges facing the new administration, the United States is on the brink of a "new era" of opportunity, job growth and enhanced national security -- all hinging on our response to the grave threats of energy insecurity and climate change.

"I don't recall a time when national leadership has been faced with the combination of problems and opportunities before us today," Hart said. "I believe that with the support of the nation, the new leaders coming to office in January have the talent and the commitment to guide the United States into a new era of security, opportunity and stewardship."

Hart made the comments at a news conference in which the Presidential Climate Action Project -- a two-year effort to develop a climate action agenda for the next president -- released what Hart described as "the most comprehensive plan yet for federal leadership to build a new energy economy." Joining Hart in the announcement were Ray Anderson, chairman of the Presidential Climate Action Project advisory committee, and Bill Becker, executive director of the project.

"PCAP is a blueprint to a new energy economy that is not only possible, but practical and profitable," said Anderson, the founder, chairman of the board and CEO of Interface Inc., an international manufacturer of carpet products and widely recognized as one of greenest companies in the world. "We have reduced our carbon footprint at Interface by 82 percent and our fossil fuel energy intensity use by 60 percent, and we are thriving. We are evidence that it industries can make the transition to a low-carbon world and become even stronger than they were before."

The plan, a comprehensive blueprint for climate action by the next president and Congress, was delivered to the president-elect's transition team Wednesday.

Among its recommendations, the plan calls for:

• A tenfold increase in the federal investment in developing and commercializing clean energy technologies;
• A 30 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 50 percent reduction on petroleum consumption by 2020;
• A CAFE standard of 50 miles per gallon by 2025; and
• Meeting America's energy needs without constructing any new conventional coal power plants.

Becker said the plan would "begin the job of reinventing the federal government to move the United States into a 21st century economy."

The Presidential Climate Action Project is an initiative of the Wirth Chair at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. It contains scores of recommendations for the new president and Congress, with an emphasis on actions the president can take within 100 days of assuming office.

>> View the complete plan

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