Now featured at HuffingtonPost, by Jesse Jenkins and Teryn Norris
On Monday, Joe Romm of Climate Progress publicly attacked us for publishing an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle — called “Will America lose the clean energy race?” (a longer version was posted here at Huffington Post.). In that piece, we urged Congress to fully fund President Obama’s energy education initiative and scale up direct pubic investments in low-carbon energy to accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy.
Romm asserted that our op-ed “attacks” President Obama and Democratic leaders, when in fact it calls on Congress to support Obama’s RE-ENERGYSE energy education program and urges greater public investment in clean energy to compete with Asian challengers. Yet Romm never mentioned the central focus of the op-ed — RE-ENERGYSE and our efforts to rally support behind it, including a recent sign-on letter with over 100 organizations — and instead criticized us for what he called “willfully misleading nonsense” about Asian countries’ planned investments in clean energy.
Romm proceeded to make several factually incorrect statements about Asia’s plans for clean energy investment that contradict research in publicly accessible reports and analyses, including those by the Center for American Progress (CAP), which employs Romm. The Breakthrough Institute wrote a comprehensive fact check here to correct Romm’s numerous misstatements and clarify the details of public investment plans in China, South Korea and Japan.
Romm also criticized us for asserting that Congress must strengthen the Waxman-Markey bill with greater investments in clean energy to compete with Asian challengers and accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy. Why? Because Romm apparently believes the Waxman-Markey proposal — which would invest only $10 billion per year in clean energy and energy efficiency, a commitment of less than 0.1% of U.S. GDP — is sufficient to win the clean energy race. It is not.