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Representative Van Hollen on the American commitment to clean energy

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of dedicated OFA organizers and volunteers at a climate change town hall in my home state of Maryland. As co-chair of the bipartisan House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, I provided an update on the challenges and opportunities surrounding climate change legislation in the 113th Congress.

The costs of doing nothing when it comes to global climate change are huge. We see a greater frequency and intensity of major weather events – and those events have a very real price for property, infrastructure, and, most importantly, human lives. But addressing this challenge will pay dividends both for our climate and our economy far into the future.

The future of clean energy production in this country is a huge opportunity. In just the last four years, we have doubled the amount of electricity generated from the wind and the sun. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2011 there were 3.4 million clean energy jobs—an increase of 158,000 from the year before. Those are jobs manufacturing wind turbines, installing solar panels, and other jobs in that sector.

Now is the time to build on that success, and to ensure America's leadership on clean energy technology globally while strengthening our economy at home.

I was pleased to attend President Obama's address on this key issue at Georgetown University in June, and we need to pursue the strategy laid out in that important speech. OFA is the engine for translating these ideas into action, and there are two important things we can do. First, we must make sure that Congress does not obstruct the President's ability to implement his forward looking plan. Second, we must build a critical mass in Congress to work with the President to take positive steps.

If we all work together, I am confident that our nation will serve as a world leader in green jobs, environmental standards, and energy innovation.

You can get involved in the movement to meet the challenge of climate change today. Sign up for one of OFA's Action August events and say you're ready to act on climate.

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U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland