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The House of Representatives have passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), a bill designed to address our planet's greatest threat - global warming. While we are pleased that Congress took action, and did so quickly indicating that this issue is a high priority, we believe a stronger bill is essential to protect our planet against the onset of climate change, sea-level rise and related-weather events. The bill now heads to the Senate where there will be opportunities to strengthen it so we urge you to make your voice heard.

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Specifically, we would like to see:

A stronger target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The bill passed by the House on June 27, has a short term target reducing emissions by only 4%.  To adequately tackle the challenge of global warming, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

A requirement to direct the federal government to allocate a portion of any revenue stream created by the legislation to low-income communities in America.  Those that are least able to afford to adapt or mitigate the impacts of climate change will suffer the greatest.  Global Green USA's Climate Solutions for Communities (“CSC”) program is working to empower our low-income communities to become an integral part of the solution to climate change.

A provision that keeps coastal wetlands in Louisiana from being overwhelmed by the sea-level rise and stronger storms that are linked to climate change.  These wetlands are the heart of the country's seafood industry, providing jobs and high quality seafood for the nation and the world. In addition, the wetlands are the buffer needed to slow storm surges and slow the rapid pace of coastal erosion.

The House version includes the following two critical provisions that we would like to see maintained in the Senate version:

    Greening federally funded housing.  Section 284 of ACES contains provisions championed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO) that require the implementation of energy efficiency and green building strategies in all housing funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Global Green approached HUD in 1998 to advocate for the adoption of green affordable housing policies and programs and was successful  in convincing Congress to mandate energy efficiency in HUD housing as part of  the Energy Policy Act signed into law in 2005. The Green Act provisions in ACES will take that  advocacy to the next level and are a critical step in forwarding sustainable communities! As the largest owner/financer of low-income housing, HUD has the opportunity to play a significant role in helping create green communities nation-wide.        

    Increasing energy efficiency by strengthening building codes.  Section 201 of ACES sets target dates for energy efficiency goals and requires buildings to increase energy efficiency by 30% above the baseline code. This section also requires states to adopt the most recent model energy codes and includes penalties for non-compliance.   Since buildings are responsible for 48% of greenhouse gas emissions nationally, these provisions are essential to combating climate change.

      Please call your Senator today to ask them to include:
      A stronger target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
      A requirement to allocate a portion of revenue for low-income communities in America
      A provision to protect Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

      Please also ask them to:
      Maintain provisions that require energy efficiency and green building strategies in all HUD housing and that increase energy efficiency in all buildings (government and private sector) by strengthening building codes.