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May 13, 2010

Contact: Angela Bonarrigo, 617-816-9102 or [email protected]
or Michael Meehan, 202-280-6770 or [email protected]

Senator Kerry Joins with Business Leaders and National Security Experts to Discuss the Need to Secure America's Energy Future
Newly Released Energy and Climate Framework Will Jumpstart National Debate in Wake of Oil Catastrophe in Gulf

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) held a telepress conference with state reporters to discuss the urgent need to complete a comprehensive climate and clean energy policy this year that will put America back in control of its energy future. The event comes on the heels of legislative language released yesterday by Senators Kerry and Lieberman. John Rowe, Chairman and CEO of Exelon Corporation; David Vieau, President and CEO of A123 Systems; and retired 3-star Lt. Gen. Norm Seip joined the Senators to highlight the growing momentum behind action to address climate and energy legislation this year. To listen to today's telepress conference, click here (please note: the recording at this link will be available beginning at 2:00 PM EDT).

"We are closer than ever to a break through. Now is the time to take action," said Senator John Kerry. "The American Power Act will create millions of new jobs, move us towards energy independence, strengthen our national security, and will give us cleaner air. That's why this bill has the support of an unprecedented coalition of stakeholders from Admirals and Generals to CEO's and devout Evangelical leaders. Businesses that have opposed every previous piece of legislation are supporting this one because it will create jobs in their states. These groups and companies are doubling down on a clean energy economy because they understand that this isn't a choice, it's a necessity, and we need to get it done this year."

Business leaders, veterans, faith leaders, and many others across this nation are voicing support for urgent action on this issue, echoing the need for comprehensive legislation to help jumpstart the state's economic recovery and provide cleaner, safer energy sources that are made in America and work for America.

"The catastrophic event in the Gulf Coast serves as a reminder that we need to accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy," said David Vieau, President and CEO of A123 Systems, Inc., an advanced battery manufacturer. "This framework will allow companies to continue to develop and bring to scale innovative, low carbon technologies to ensure our country's energy security and to allow Americans to participate fully in the future job opportunities of the 21st century."

President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have an opportunity to demonstrate bold leadership by passing a comprehensive plan that creates millions of new jobs in a clean energy economy, and reduces carbon emissions. Public support for action remains strong. According to a new national poll by Benenson Strategy Group, 61 percent of 2010 voters support a bill that limits pollution, invests in domestic energy sources, and encourages companies to develop clean energy. There is also wide support for action among business, national security, environmental, labor, faith-based and veterans' organizations. This broad coalition believes that the proposal signifies a major step forward in passing meaningful climate and energy policies, and that now is the time for the Senate to act.

"Yesterday's announcement is an important step towards securing America with clean energy," said Lt. General Seip of Virginia. "The more quickly the US Senate acts, the less of our money ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations and rogue states like Iran. As the Defense Department has said, climate change and oil dependence are threats to our security. The time for Senate action is now and, along with over 30 other Generals and Admirals, I'm asking senators to join me in supporting passage of comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation."

If you are interested in contacting business leaders on the call today, please contact Michael Meehan, 202-280-6770 or [email protected]. To contact national security leaders on the call, please contact David Solimini, 757-876-0295.

About We Can Lead

The We Can Lead campaign is sponsored by the Clean Economy Network and Ceres' Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). For more on We Can Lead, visit www.wecanlead.org or follow us on twitter @wecanlead

The Clean Economy Network, Inc. (CEN) is the largest national membership-based networking, educational, and advocacy organization shaping a new economy based on clean technology and innovation. Our members are professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers who connect to each other, learn information relevant to business and professional growth, and influence public policies that impact the clean economy.

Ceres is the largest coalition of investors, environmental and public interest organizations in North America. Ceres launched the BICEP coalition, whose members include Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Best Buy Co., Inc., Target Corp., Sun Microsystems, The Timberland Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Clif Bar & Company, eBay, Gap Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle, The North Face, Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry's, Eileen Fisher, Stonyfield Farm Inc., and Symantec.
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