America's Path to Progress
America's Path to Progress Platform
The time is right for Christian Coalition supporters and allies to step forward to promote energy independence initiatives. Taking responsibility to care for God's creation and protecting the future of our children and grandchildren is a core family value. Further delays in action will impact our national security, our economic security, and our family security.
We believe that an all-American "comprehensive" approach is needed. We can create clean energy jobs by building and using made-in-America technologies to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and work towards a much more diversified and secure energy future.
The Christian Coalition will advocate for solutions based on two central principles:
•1. We should take action now with solutions that tap American innovation. American inventors, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers should be the leaders in a global transformation towards the development of more secure energy choices.
•2. We believe that we can better ensure our national security and strengthen our economy at the same time by developing American energy resources and investing in clean, renewable energy technologies that create American jobs.
Helping America and its Families
We believe that all families should have access to renewable and alternative energy sources, as well more energy efficient cars, trucks and household appliances, in order to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Cost-effective policies should be enacted at the state, local and federal levels to accelerate a free-market shift to a cleaner, cheaper energy future.
U.S. leadership and technology innovation can spur global progress and grow our economy, as we seek opportunities to export "made-in-America" clean energy technologies throughout the world. Long term solutions however must have participation from all countries, including China and India.
Resolving to Take Action
As conservatives, we stand up for our country's national security and the health of our economy. And, as Christians, we recognize the Biblical mandate to care for God's creation and protect our children's future.
The cornerstone of the Christian Coalition's work will be education. Knowledge is the key to addressing these complex issues.
The Christian case for extending the solar tax credit
With our values at stake, Christians need to play an active role in government like never before. As President of the Christian Coalition, I’ve urged people of faith to help shape policy that affects our everyday lives. One topic of importance in recent political discussions is energy independence. From the price of gas to the cost of powering our own homes, Americans understand just how much energy prices can constrain their monthly budget. Now, conservatives are looking at the issue not only in terms of cost but also in terms of being good stewards of our God-given natural resources. While it may seem surprising at first to hear a conservative speak up on this issue, it was President Ronald Reagan who famously said:
“What is a conservative after all but one who conserves, one who is committed to protecting and holding close the things by which we live…And we want to protect and conserve the land on which we live — our countryside, our rivers and mountains, our plains and meadows and forests. This is our patrimony. This is what we leave to our children. And our great moral responsibility is to leave it to them either as we found it or better than we found it.”
In keeping with President Reagan’s legacy, I urge our nation’s legislators to include solar in this year’s tax extenders package.
A critical tax credit called the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is the only federal incentive for solar power. It benefits Americans of all stripes by making solar installations significantly more affordable and creating well-paid jobs that can’t be exported. Unfortunately, it is set to expire at the end of 2016.
The United States is sitting at a crossroads when it comes to solar energy. Since the ITC was implemented, solar installations have grown significantly – by more than 1,600%. Market stability for solar companies has allowed the cost of solar to fall quickly. Now is not the time to change that trend.
Last year, one out of every 78 jobs created in America came from solar energy. These are stable, good paying jobs that benefit our families and bolster small businesses. But most importantly, solar energy is one of the best ways to pass on our nation’s treasured resources to future generations. For the sake of our families, include solar in this year’s tax extenders package.
President and CEO
Christian Coalition of America
Americans Deserve Economic & Energy Security at Home
We acknowledge that as a nation, our economic security and energy security go hand in hand. The same is true for families across the country. In order to realize that security at the household level, Americans need an energy marketplace that is robust with options, innovation, entrepreneurs, and homegrown manufacturing that cannot be sent overseas.
There is a new threat to American families’ ability to realize their own household energy and economic security. Many utility companies across the country are trying to force their customers to pay higher and higher mandatory monthly fees, which result in electric bills going up even if people do not turn the lights on! American families deserve the right to maintain control of their energy options, and costs. When utility companies force customers to pay ever-higher mandatory fees, people lose that control. There are proposals to hike these fees in at least twenty-two (22) states, with more expected in coming months. These fees are bad for consumers, eroding widely shared American values of self-determination, fairness and efficiency.
Fortunately, utility commissions in most states are doing their job: protecting customers and helping to steer utility companies towards the future. In fact, most states have rejected the worst aspects of these proposals so far this year. One of the key battleground states on this issue is the state of Wisconsin, where the Public Service Commission, last year allowed two utility companies to force their customers into much higher mandatory monthly fees. There are now two more proposals pending, from Xcel and the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS). We will be making sure our members in Wisconsin learn about ways to speak up on the issue.
Americans deserve more renewable energy and energy efficiency options, not less. Homegrown renewable energy is a strong economic driver, attracting investment and creating jobs that cannot be sent overseas. Energy efficiency helps families lower their energy bills, keeping more money in the local economy in support of local jobs.
In their stubbornness to resist innovation and diversification, the utility companies, trying to hike these fees, are standing in the path to progress on economic and energy security. That’s why we are standing up for American families.
We will keep an eye on these proposals, and use our America’s Path to Progress newsletter to keep our members informed about how they can take action.
President and CEO
Christian Coalition of America
Portman's Energy Efficiency Bill Signed Into Law
April 30, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that President Barack Obama has signed his bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015. This is the first energy bill to be signed into law this Congress.
“I’m pleased the President has signed my bill into law because it is good for the economy and good for the environment,” said Portman. “This is an important part of our energy plan for America that can help bring jobs back, help make our manufacturers more competitive, and actually help to protect the environment. I’ll continue to work for passage of my larger bill and a national energy strategy that boosts American workers while protecting the environment at the same time.”
The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 includes three simple but effective provisions that include no mandates and that have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office to be budget neutral. Title I establishes a voluntary, market-driven approach to aligning the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption. Title II exempts certain electric resistance water heaters used for demand response from pending Department of Energy regulation. Title III requires that federally-leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.
Text of the legislation can be found here.
Portman is continuing to work for passage of his Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, which he discussed at a hearing in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today. Video can be found here.
Legislative Energy Efficiency Tour - Kalamazoo, MI
Senator Rob Portman’s Bipartisan Energy Efficiency Bill Reaches Senate Floor
Spurs Use of Energy Efficiency Technologies to Foster Job Creation
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) delivered remarks on the Senate floor highlighting his bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, an energy efficiency bill he introduced with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The legislation is designed to spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of our economy, while also fostering job creation. It uses a variety of low-cost tools to reduce barriers for private sector energy users and drive adoption of off-the-shelf efficiency technologies that will save businesses and consumers money, make America more energy independent, and reduce emissions.
Below are excerpts of Portman’s remarks. Video of the entire remarks can be found here.
“I think it’s important, in part, because it creates jobs. It is a bill that is supported, by the way, by over 260 businesses, business associations and advocacy groups, from the National Association of Manufacturers and thee Chamber of Commerce, to the Sierra Club and the Alliance to Save Energy. The Christian Coalition is supporting it…I think the legislation got through the Senate Energy Committee with a vote of 19 to 3 partly because of this support and because members realize this will help them and their constituents. Simply put, I think this legislation…makes good environmental sense. I think it makes good energy sense. And I think it makes good economic sense, too.”
“The proposals contained in our bill are really common-sense reforms we’ve needed for a long time. The bill contains no mandates…In fact, many of our proposals come as a direct result of conversations we have had with folks in the private sector about how the federal government can help them to become more energy efficient and save money that they can then reinvest in their businesses and communities.”
“In fact, it will save taxpayers money. All of us as taxpayers will save money because of another provision of the legislation, and that’s because we go after the largest energy user in the world to try to make them more efficient—that’s the United States government. We want to be sure the United States government starts to practice what it preaches, because as it talks to the rest of us about the need for more energy efficiency we find that at the federal government there are lots of opportunities to make them less wasteful, more efficient. It directs the Department of Energy to issue recommendations that employ energy efficiency on everything from computer hardware to operation and maintenance processes, energy efficiency software, and power management tools. Senator Wyden had some good examples earlier of some of the waste in the federal government that this bill will go after. So this is smart because it is the right thing to do in order to save energy but also it helps taxpayers because it’s going to reduce the cost at the federal government. It also takes a really interesting commonsense step of allowing the General Services Administration to actually update the building designs they have to meet energy efficiency standards that have been developed since these designs were finalized, some of them many years ago, and they can’t update them. So we certainly want to be sure that the new federal buildings that are being constructed are using the most up-to-date efficiency standards. This legislation permits that to happen. The government has been looking for places to tighten its belt; this is one. Energy efficiency, I think, is a great place to start.”
Roberta Combs' Statement on Portman-Shaheen Energy Bill
For The Sake Of America’s Families, Pass The Energy Efficiency Bill
By Roberta Combs
The Christian Coalition believes energy efficiency is a family value issue. What could be more important for the family than helping families save money in these hard economic times? That’s why we support Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and the bipartisan bill he has co-authored with Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) – it is good for America’s families.
By spurring the use of energy-efficiency technologies, the Shaheen-Portman bill will save families money on their home energy bills. It will also help household budgets indirectly, as businesses and industries that save on energy costs can be expected to pass some of those savings on to their customers. Especially in tough times like these, that can make a real difference.
The bill will also create jobs—35,000 of them, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with some groups estimating even higher job numbers. America can use all the new jobs it can get.
Perhaps, most importantly, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act will cut government waste. The Federal Government is America’s largest consumer of energy. It spends more than $7 billion on building-energy costs alone, every single year. Much of that taxpayer money is wasted because of inefficient and outdated equipment.
One analysis of the bill found it could save at least 15 percent of the government’s taxpayer-supported building related-energy tab—more than a billion dollars every year—by making government buildings more energy efficient.
The Christian Coalition’s interest in energy goes beyond just financial concerns. Through an initiative we call America’s Path to Progress, the Christian Coalition is calling for greater energy independence, and energy efficiency is part of that equation. We know that America’s economic strength, national security, and clean air all depend on our energy policies. For the sake of American families, we need to power our nation more efficiently.
We are conservatives, so we are interested in building up our country’s national security and the health of its economy. We as Christians recognize the Bible’s mandate to care for God’s creation and protect our children’s future.
We applaud elected officials who take the lead on these issues, like Sen. Portman and Sen. Shaheen. We join our voices with those of the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and more than 200 other groups-- ranging from businesses and trade associations to environmental groups and labor unions—in support of the Shaheen-Portman bill.
Politics might slow this bill’s progress. That’s just how it goes in a democracy, especially in today’s Washington. There are competing interests, opinions, and priorities trying to influence legislation.
At the end of the day, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act and other common-sense energy policies are good for America. Saving energy and money, embracing responsible stewardship of our resources, and supporting families by building a stronger, cleaner, more efficient, and more secure nation is not a matter of conservative or liberal. It is a good idea for all Americans, and it deserves support from all of us.
Roberta Combs is President and CEO of the Christian Coalition of America.
CCA Ohio State Chairman Mike Brown's Statement on Energy Bill
Sen. Portman’s Energy Bill Is Good For Families In Ohio and Across America
By Mike Brown
At a time when so many Americans are having a tough time paying the bills, Ohio’s own Sen. Rob Portman is reaching across the aisle to help struggling families and communities.
Sen. Portman, a Republican, has joined Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire to propose the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. This energy efficiency bill will help everyday Americans in Ohio and across the country to save money and better take care of their families.
It will also create jobs—up to 35,000 of them, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, has found that going even further- and elevating energy efficiency to a national priority - could produce 600,000 to 900,000 sustainable jobs.
Coming together around common-sense solutions to our nation’s energy challenges fits right in with what we at the Christian Coalition of America’s Ohio Chapter are trying to do. Our faith binds us to the values of hard work, living within our means, and doing the right thing for our communities – particularly in these hard economic times. We see energy efficiency as a family value issue.
The bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act will spur the use of commercially available energy-efficiency technologies that can be deployed in every state to save energy in new homes and commercial buildings. Improvements to heating and air-conditioning systems, lighting, electrical and control systems; upgraded pumps and motors; and updates to buildings and facilities eliminate leaks and waste, reduce costs and increase savings. These savings can be passed on to American consumers everywhere, leaving money in families’ pockets that can be spent in communities throughout the country, while helping meet other family needs.
Perhaps most importantly, Shaheen-Portman changes the way the federal government does business by encouraging energy-savings practices. This will save taxpayers money. That’s good news for families everywhere.
The Federal Government is the largest single consumer of energy in the U.S. It is also one of the most inefficient users of energy, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on old and inefficient systems – everything from outdated computers to drafty buildings. Washington spends more than $7 billion annually on building-related energy costs. Government estimates suggest that at least 15 percent of this spending could be avoided by modernizing energy systems in government buildings, which the Shaheen-Portman bill begins to do.
This legislation enjoys strong bipartisan support, including endorsements from the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, along with nearly 250 diverse groups ranging from businesses, trade associations, environmental groups and labor.
America cannot afford to waste the energy with which this great country has been so blessed. We need a new approach to energy that will ensure a safer, stronger and cleaner America for generations to come. Putting the federal government on an energy-efficiency diet that reduces energy consumption and saves families money is a sensible solution that we can all agree on.
Take the America's Path to Progress Survey
We are conducting a survey of Christian Coalition supporters around the country on one of the most important issues that our country faces today, and we need your input.
It is imperative that political and opinion leaders in Washington understand in no uncertain terms that Americans are keenly aware of this nation's problems with its energy policies and that we expect and deserve better leadership on this issue.
While your responses will be kept confidential, the results will be used to send a clear signal to those in positions of influence as to how politically active Christians feel about these important issues.
So please complete the survey today and add your voice to thousands of other politically active Christians.
Capitol Hill Forum on Energy Policy
Congressmen Joe Wilson (R-SC), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Robb Wittman (R-NC), Walter Jones (R-SC), and Lt. General Richard Zilmer (USMC-Ret) brief the Christian Coalition of America on energy policy in Washington, DC at the US Capitol.
Capitol Hill Roundtable Discussion on Energy
Christian Coalition of America President Roberta Combs opens up the Capitol Hill Roundtable Discussion on Energy
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD 6th District)
Larry Schweiger - President, National Wildlife Federation
Ambassador C. Boyden Gray
Energy VFW Breakfast
America's Path to Progress Energy Forum
Senator Paul Campbell
Gladys Spann, one of Christian Coalition's most senior members, attending energy forum
State Chairmen's Energy Meeting on Capitol Hill
Energy meeting in Washington, DC
Senator Lindsey Graham speaking at energy meeting in DC
State Chairmen's meeting on energy in Washington, DC
Jim Backlin, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, at energy meeting in Washington, DC
Lobbying on Capitol Hill
Lobbying on Capitol Hill
State Chairmen's Energy Meeting
Christian Coalition of America’s President, Roberta Combs addressed the State Chairmen’s Meeting
Admiral Lee Gunn addresses the State Chairmen’s Meeting
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich addresses the State Chairmen’s Meeting
Congressman Trent Franks (AZ) addressed the Christian Coalition VFW Luncheon
Christian Coalition of America hosts an Energy Roundtable with local business leaders
Admiral Gunn addresses business leaders at Christian Coalition Energy Roundtable