Saturday, March 14, 2009

Citizen's First Congress urges all to support bills in legislature for energy efficiency and the fight against climate change

We need your help to support a package of energy efficiency legislation that will help the environment, save consumers money and create good Arkansas jobs. These seven bills are a great package that will need a lot of your support to pass.

Please sign the online petition for better Arkansas energy policy, and contact your legislators to let them know you support energy efficiency.

The Energy and Global Warming Package is:

HB1903 (Cash) The Energy Efficiency Performance Standards Act of 2009 will require the PSC to expand existing electric and gas utility efficiency programs provide incentives for insulation and weatherization and create jobs by expanding businesses involved in energy efficiency. It is in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee.
HB1851 (Webb) will help lower barriers to creating a renewable energy market in Arkansas and help consumers and Arkansas companies upgrade to renewable energy. It is in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee.
HB1663 (Webb) Lead By Example legislation will increase efficiency in schools and government buildings – resulting in substantial savings for the state. It is in the Joint Energy Committee.
SB584 (Broadway) will provide low-cost financing to be used to retrofit state government and school facilities and remove legal barriers to the funding that would make them more energy efficient. It is in the Senate Insurance and Commerce Committee.
SB440 (Broadway) allows the work of the Sustainable Building Design Task Force to continue. It is in the Senate State Agencies Committee.
HB1902 (Cash) will amend the Arkansas motorcycle code to allow highly efficient 3-wheeled electric vehicles on the streets regulated as cars. It is in the House Public Transportation Committee.
HB2008 (Webb) gives a tax credit to encourage the recovery and use of landfill methane gas. It’s not been assigned to committee yet.

The Citizens First Congress is a grassroots coalition of over 40 community groups from across Arkansas that works on progressive reform at the Arkansas Legislature.

Our Ten Priorities for a Better Arkansas for the 2009 Arkansas Legislature are
Increased resources for rural and small business economic development.
Enact the recommendations of the HIV/AIDS Task Force.
Progressive tax reform to provide low and middle income tax relief while generating sufficient state revenue.
Enact the recommendations of the Global Warming Commission.
Create an Arkansas Civil Rights Commission.
Close the education achievement gap.
Enact the Dream Act to make sure every student graduating from an Arkansas school has the opportunity to pay in-state college tuition.
Create a Task Force on Arkansas Water Resources.
Increase penalties for and enforcement of wage theft.
Expand state incentives for land conservation.

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