Renewable energy to fuel our clean economy

Across America, communities are facing escalating climate crisis’ emergencies with destructive wildfires, droughts, heat waves, extreme storms, floods, and infectious diseases, causing economic and emotional distress and amplifying the need for emergency action, especially in environmental justice communities. 

EOPA elected officials at all levels of government are joining together to protect our people and planet nationally and globally. We must enact a National Climate Emergency Plan and transition to a 100% clean energy economy. If you are a former or current elected official please sign the letter here. Read more about the plan here.

The climate crisis urgency:

Even with the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) unprecedented $370 billion clean energy investments in our security, health, and prosperity, we still have a way to go to meet the 50% emission reduction goal by 2030 that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we must reach in order to avoid extreme weather and climate disasters becoming the norm. 

To achieve that goal we have partnered with the Solutions for Pollution campaign to reduce greenhouse gasses by another 10% by modernizing existing regulations and government procurement.

Energy Independence from Fossil fuels

The need to accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy economy is urgent, for without it the American public will continue to be subjected to oil and gas increases when the industry deems, not when is necessary. In the 1970s, Americans suffered financially during an oil crisis because OPEC countries limited supplies and prices skyrocketed. It has happened all over again with new and old players. The end result will always be the same — consumers will pay increased prices, while fossil fuel companies make record profits from price gouging. Now the industry is using inflation and the war in Ukraine as false excuses to price gouge. We have the power to stop this cycle that is killing the planet as it fuels greenhouse gasses. 

Only when we transition from fuel fuels completely will we ensure our security and independence as a clean energy economy. We must focus on energy independence from fossil fuels for our health and wellbeing. Our future and our humanity depend on it.

Starting in 2012, we’ve run programs for an equitable transition from a fossil fuel economy to a 100% clean energy economy. With specific initiatives in California and New York, EOPA has successfully worked on divestment issues, safety set-back zones around fossil fuel wells, oil well capping and remediation, and an equitable end to fracking, while helping environmental justice communities hardest hit from the devastating toxic fumes from oil production and fossil-fuel extraction. In these states and New Jersey we’ve also worked to build a clean transportation coalition. Our work is ongoing.

We see offshore wind energy as key to accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy.

Nationally, we’ve achieved encouraging the Administration and Congress to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) and enact the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for our national security and to position the U.S. firmly on the road to a 100% clean energy economy. Additional funds from the DPA are needed to ensure the security of our electric infrastructure.  We are also urging the President and Congress to enact a National Climate Emergency Plan and for a Presidential Climate Emergency Declaration to unlock his powers to ensure we hit the IPCC climate goals before it’s too late.

Internationally, a Green Marshall Plan for Ukraine is a crucial opportunity to help undermine Putin’s war in Ukraine, strengthen global security, and increase clean energy production. Russia’s war on Ukraine has shown how fossil fuels are making our world less safe and dependent on autocratic dictators. 

The original Marshall Plan was an audacious, innovative strategy that provided Europe with the stimulus needed to rapidly rebuild after World War II. 

Now we need a Green Marshall Plan to help Ukraine rebuild a clean energy economy with the security of knowing that they won’t be vulnerable to oil and gas fluctuations, and the dangers of being dependent on fossil fuels ever again. 

It would be inhumane to wait for the end of the war as millions of Ukrainians are suffering in frigid winter temperatures without electricity. Learn more here.

Our goal is to electrify our nation’s transportation system with large-scale public/private funding and national electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to transition off of a fossil fuel transportation system to one using clean renewable energy. Our work has already built a clean vehicle coalition in New York and New Jersey.

Nationally, we’ve encouraged the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that moves our goal forward. However, we still need to strengthen existing vehicle emission standards, and completely phase in 100% zero-emissions vehicles. 

We will begin a nationwide EV Climate Emergency Tour tour on the East Coast covering 8 states and focusing on the need for electric vehicles on our road to drive a clean energy economy. We will highlight that the EPA’s vehicle standards must be updated and that offshore wind is essential to feed enough electrical power to the grid so we all can eventually drive electric vehicles. Led by veterans who are lawmakers, we will educate, train, and organize elected officials, the media, and the public in 32 cities across the country.

Offshore wind has the potential to provide more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of electric energy in the United States — at least two times the present generation of the entire U.S. electric grid, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate. The sheer size of the resource illustrates the critical contribution that offshore wind can make toward an energy system powered by 100% clean renewable energy. 

Offshore wind would be the biggest lever that we can pull to reduce our emissions, address the climate crisis, meet our energy needs, and grow our economy simultaneously. It’s poised to become a $1 trillion industry by 2040, creating thousands of good-paying jobs, providing clean renewable energy, and spurring economic growth and environmental justice.

The U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment states that offshore wind is forecasted to create nearly 83,000 jobs across an estimated 74 occupations in the U.S. by 2030, with over 23,000 of those jobs being permanent, full-time jobs that will exist once the projects are fully constructed and operational. These jobs include electricians, welders, turbine technicians, longshoremen, truck drivers, crane operators, ironworkers, pipefitters, pile drivers, engineers, mechanics, scientists, and offshore equipment and vessel operators.

While the Biden administration has jump-started offshore wind development, infusing coastal states and the industry with confidence, their goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy by 2035 will easily be met with current offshore wind projects in development.

EOPA has letters for New York, New Jersey and California signed by elected officials in their respective states backing responsible offshore wind development. Learn more here.