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North Dakota Lawmaker Hits Capitol Hill on Climate Change

November 3, 2009

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - To try to inject new momentum into federal climate change legislation, a group of lawmakers from 19 states, including North Dakota, recently went to Washington to form a new organization, the Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now (CLEAN)>/em>.

The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, is coming up for debate in Congress, and the new coalition aims to get more grassroots support for it. A member of the group is North Dakota state Senator Tim Mathern, a Democrat from Fargo, who says the state lawmakers have work to do.

"We need state legislators who are on the ground to push the agenda to create new jobs and change our energy dependence in the world. "

Mathern says the official announcement came late last week in Washington. He says the message this new group needs to take home to every state regards what is in the climate legislation for local citizens.

"I think the selling point is new jobs. There is a new world in clean energy that has jobs, and has jobs that are high paying. "

But the system has its critics. They argue that the legislation would raise energy costs and do little to avert climate change. Proponents say the legislation will put America in the forefront of clean energy technology.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND