Energy alliance turns up the heat on US administration

An alliance of over 30 companies and energy sector organisations is demanding the US administration acknowledge man-made climate change in the wake of Hurricane Katrina - by committing real cash to solutions.

The group, which has members ranging from concerned scientists to professional industrial lobbyists from all over the US, is calling on Congress to increase funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

The alliance has diplomatically provided a raft of other reasons for Washington to support renewables without having to make a politically embarrassing U-turn and accept the overwhelming scientific evidence for climate change.

Rising energy prices and increased reliance on imports, fuel shortages and an albeit temporary damaging dent done to the oil industry by the monster winds are all cited in a letter sent to key politicians.

The energy alliance claims that funding from Congress for the renewable sector next year resembles this year’s budget, but with support stripped from several areas including wind energy and advanced hydropower.

Its letter, sent on Monday September 26, said: “The aftershocks of Hurricane Katrina are now breaking across US energy markets – gasoline prices are now topping US$3 per gallon, energy imports are now at historic highs and natural gas and home heating oil costs are now projected to increase dramatically this winter.

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies offer the best near-term and mid-term options for addressing these challenges while simultaneously creating domestic jobs, reducing greenhouse gases and regulated emissions, and enhancing national security.

“Consequently, we believe that level funding for these programs is simply not acceptable.”

The group is currently awaiting a response.

By Sam Bond

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