Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inslee, Israel launch progressive energy caucus in the House of Representatives

This morning, U.S. Representatives Steve Israel and our very own Jay Inslee announced they are officially forming a new progressive energy caucus in the House of Representatives: the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition.

SEEC's primary objective will be to put teeth into legislation to ensure that our government actually takes action to solve the climate crisis, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and protect our environment. Said Inslee:

The 111th Congress convened in a perfect storm. The melting of the Arctic ice cap is speeding up toward a point of no return and the economy is in turmoil. We are in need of bold, aggressive action, and that’s exactly what the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition is about.
Israel added:

This year, we have a historic opportunity to finally reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition will lead efforts in the House to create the incentives and make the investments we need to transform our economy, our infrastructure, and our environment.
Inslee and Israel are the co-chairs of SEEC, which their announcement says consists of thirty five members as of today. Vice chairs for 2009 include:
  • Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.),Vice-Chair for Speakers;
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Vice-Chair for Outreach;
  • Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Vice-Chair for Membership; and
  • Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Vice-Chair Whip
Though the Coalition is being officially announced today, it actually got started last year, when Inslee saw a need for advocates of a new approach to energy to be better organized:
The SEEC formed at the end of the 110th Congress when Inslee and Israel called a meeting for like-minded members of Congress to discuss how they could impact the 2008 House energy and economic recovery bills. In the 2008 and 2009 economic recovery packages, the group successfully inserted provisions for the federal support of advanced-battery manufacturers.

The Coalition will be working with House leadership, the White House, and other groups in Congress to advance their energy priorities.
SEEC has already met with President Obama's assistant Carol Browner to talk about the climate crisis and energy policy.

The Northwest Progressive Institute applauds the formation of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. We look forward to working with Representative Inslee and his colleagues to build a clean energy future for America.


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