The 25x’25 National Steering Committee has it right. Made up of nearly 30 volunteers with agricultural production, research and other diverse backgrounds, the Committee recently offered President-elect Obama and Congress a package of 12 recommendations that stress how a significant investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency will not only generate billions of dollars in economic growth, putting thousands of people back to work, but also enhance national security and improve the environment.
In these times of bailouts in the financial and auto industry, the Committee is recommending the federal government put its money where American taxpayers will actually see results. Just ask countless communities where wind power, hydropower or biofuels industries have already created new jobs, opened up new energy options, or where they have helped improve this country’s infrastructure.
The Committee is part of the 25x’25 Alliance, which is supported by a broad cross-section of agriculture and forestry, business, labor, conservation and religious organizations. The Alliance is supported financially by the Energy Future Coalition, a non-partisan public policy initiative funded by foundations. Visit www.energyfuturecoalition.org.
The 25x’25 National Steering Committee calls for additional investments of more than $4 billion in programs that accelerate markets for wind energy, solar power, biomass, geothermal energy, hydropower and biofuels. The Committee also calls for a renewed look at government support for advanced biofuel production, including commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production plants.
You may have read this statistic from the University of Tennessee Department of Agricultural Economics before, but it deserves a second look. If America’s farms, ranches and forestlands are provided the necessary resources to meet 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs with renewable resources, the United States could enjoy an estimated $700 billion in new, annual economic activity and 4 million to 5 million new jobs. Those are some real numbers, not just an emergency stopgap.
Almost every American taxpayer could benefit by one or more of the 25x’25’s National Steering Committee's 12 recommendations. Check them out at http://www.25x25.org/.