E2 Quarterly Update
Q4 2016 | October

Making the Impossible Possible
By Bob Keefe

It always seems impossible until it's done.    -- Nelson Mandela

E2 got its start 16 years ago doing what many said was impossible, helping pass the nation’s first automobile emission standards at a time when nobody thought it could be done.

As the last few months have proven, E2 and its members continue to make what seems impossible possible.

Here are three ways we helped do so recently – and three reasons E2 members should be proud:

INTERNATIONALLY - On Oct. 5, enough countries formally joined the landmark Paris climate agreement for it to take effect. The historic agreement is the biggest and most-far reaching climate treaty ever; something that couldn’t be done until now. Under the agreement, the United States and more than 70 other countries, which together account for about 57 percent of the world’s emissions, have committed to cutting emissions and increasing clean energy - creating jobs, driving investments and reducing energy waste along the way. (Learn about what’s next with the Paris treaty on E2’s next monthly webinar on Oct. 26. An invitation with more detail will be sent in the coming weeks).
 
E2 and its members were involved from the beginning in working to make the Paris treaty a reality. We met with White House officials to urge them to take action for the good of the economy and the environment. Members signed a pledge to cut their own corporate emissions. They added their names to letters to Congress and opinion pieces in media outlets stretching from coastal Virginia to California, and to a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal. And then more than a dozen of us packed our bags and traveled to Paris to hold press conferences, participate in panel discussions and proclaim business support for the treaty until it was passed.
 
REGIONALLY – Two Northeastern states recently passed their own landmark climate policies, thanks partly to E2 and its members. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August announced that state’s Clean Energy Standard, which calls for it to get 50 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030 – matching only California among big states. In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new law that will significantly boost that state’s use of renewable energy. Baker also issued a proposal to require Massachusetts and eight other states belonging to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to cut carbon emissions twice as fast as they had planned.

E2’s New York and New England chapters worked hard to make these policies happen. In New York, E2 members met with NYSERDA officials to make the case for the Clean Energy Standard. The NY chapter produced the most comprehensive clean energy jobs census ever done in the state, and then members amplified the jobs numbers in the media across the state. In Massachusetts, E2 New England chapter members took time off of work to testify at state hearings and meet with lawmakers and the governor’s office. In the end, policies that few expected the Baker Administration to pass were suddenly reality. 
 
STATEWIDE – E2’s most improbable victory came in California. There, the petroleum industry and others pulled out their wallets and all the stops to defeat SB 32, a bill to extend and improve emissions reduction targets under the state’s groundbreaking Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Few in Sacramento – or anywhere else in the state, for that matter – thought SB 32 had a prayer for passage. Most supporters had long given up on making it happen.

Not at E2. Instead, we double-downed on SB 32. Staff worked nights and weekends to produce comprehensive fact sheets detailing economic benefits of California’s global warming policies for every single California Assembly district. Then, armed with these factsheets and driven by passion, California E2 members marched into lawmaker offices all across the state to make the case for SB 32. We worked with the press to get the word out; we walked the halls of the state capitol and we met with the governor’s staff and legislative leadership. On Sept. 8, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 32 into law, E2 was there also – proof that our hard work, our great members and our business voice for the environment pays off.  See Mary Solecki's article for more details on the victory. 

*****
 
As we enter into the final months of 2016, we do so with the uncertainty of the most unusual presidential election in recent history. Along with a new occupant in the White House, we’ll soon have a new Congress. We’ll also most likely have new leadership in the federal agencies charged with protecting our environment, setting our energy policies and preserving our natural resources.

So as we were in Paris and Boston and New York and Sacramento, E2 will be in Washington, D.C. as well. On Nov. 15-16, E2 will hold its annual Washington D.C. forum, where we’ll meet with lawmakers, policymakers and others just days after the election.

We know amid tumultuous transformation, uncertainty and political partisanship, advancing smart policies may seem daunting, even impossible.

But at E2, we also know that just because somebody says something can’t be accomplished doesn’t mean it can’t be accomplished.

We know that it always seems impossible - until it’s done.
 
Also In This Issue

Making the Impossible Possible >
By Bob Keefe

Victory on California Climate Campaign >
By Mary Solecki

A Look Ahead to E2's Annual Forum in Washington, DC >
By Grant Carlisle

Join the E2 Team >

(Return to Main)
 
 
Chapter Updates
Updates from around the nation
 
Massachusetts Faces Challenges Despite Major Advances >
By Berl Hartman
 
How to help keep Colorado a national leader in clean energy >
By Susan Nedell
 
Making the Midwest a Clean Energy Leader >
By Gail Parson
 
Building our Presence and Impact in Oregon >
By Mike Mercer
 
E2 NYC Climate Week Event on Growing Clean Energy, Jobs and Communities >
By Bob Keefe
 
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Upcoming Events
 
Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Planning and Paying for Tomorrow's Transportation >
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern)
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