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Public Statements

Letter to Chairman Upton and Chairman Whitfield, Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush sent a letter to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield urging them to hold a hearing on findings by the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggesting that the transition to a low-carbon energy system is happening too slowly to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

The full text of the letter is below and also available online here.

April 30, 2012

The Honorable Fred Upton
Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Ed Whitfield
Chairman
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Upton and Chairman Whitfield:

Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report finding that the transition to clean, low-carbon energy is not occurring quickly enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.[1] We request that you schedule a hearing on this report as soon as possible.

According to IEA, without a global effort to transition to a lower-carbon energy system, carbon emissions will double by 2050, causing global average temperatures to climb at least 6°C (10.8°F) and leading to irreversible impacts for the environment and human health.[2] Richard Jones, IEA's deputy executive director, said that it is "ambitious but still possible" to limit global average temperature increases to 2°C above pre-industrial levels but only if the world's leading economies prioritize the rapid development and deployment of cleaner energy technologies.[3]

Although many countries have made significant strides in developing onshore wind resources and deploying solar PV technology, IEA found that the world is lagging in advancing less mature renewable energy technology, such as offshore wind and concentrated solar power. Moreover, the technologies with the greatest potential to reduce carbon emissions--such as carbon capture and storage, building and industry energy efficiency, and vehicle fuel economy--are making the slowest progress.[4]

IEA recommends that the world's leaders take immediate action to devote significant public sector resources to developing and deploying clean energy technology while creating a regulatory environment that encourages large-scale private sector investment. According to IEA, taking serious action on clean energy technology can help ensure energy security, rebuild national and regional economies, and address climate change and local pollution.[5]

We urge you to schedule a hearing on this matter.

Sincerely,

Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member

Bobby L. Rush
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Energy and Power


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