Groups Demand Senate, President Lead on Energy

May 13, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Senator John Kerry along with Sen. Joe Lieberman, is sponsoring the American Power Act, which increases subsidies for offshore drilling but also gives states a narrow option to reject drilling. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator John Kerry along with Sen. Joe Lieberman, is sponsoring the American Power Act, which increases subsidies for offshore drilling but also gives states a narrow option to reject drilling. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
Environmentalist groups supported U.S. Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) May 12 statement about a comprehensive climate policy. The two senators are sponsoring the American Power Act.

Organizations including World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam America, and Fresh Energy among many others encouraged legislators to pass a bill to reduce dependence on oil, enhance security, revitalize the economy, and protect the environment.

"The millions of Americans we represent demand a Senate vote on comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation,” they wrote in their official statement. President Obama said the plan had practical benefits, “This legislation will put America on the path to a clean energy economy that will create American jobs building the solar panels, wind blades, and the car batteries of the future.” Both the environmentalist organizations and the president used the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a call to reduce the need for oil by developing alternative energy sources.

The first draft of the American Power Act, made public on May 12, proposed an increase in domestic nuclear power production, federal support for more renewable power sources, and infrastructure for electric powered vehicles. The draft bill set deadlines for America to reduce its carbon emissions. It does not ban offshore drilling, but allows states to opt out if the drilling is within 75 feet of a state's coast.