A vocal group in Congress is attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the Clean Air Act. These lawmakers say leaving the EPA in charge of large polluters is bad for business.

If they were truly interested in helping to turn our economy and getting Americans back to work, they wouldn’t be taking such a misguided approach.

Across the country, investors and entrepreneurs are already hard at work trying to commercialize innovations and technologies that can lead us toward a clean energy future. Suddenly blocking the EPA from doing its job will send ripples of confusion through the marketplace and diminish incentives for the private sector to invest in new clean-energy technologies – and along the way derail the greatest opportunity we have to revitalize and rebuild our economy.

That’s why more than 300 members of Environmental Entrepreneurs – ranging from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to manufacturers of recycled building materials in Wisconsin to makers of energy efficient windows in Pennsylvania recently signed on to a letter urging the Senate to let us move forward, not backward, on the path toward a clean energy future. You can read the letter here: http://216.250.243.12/E2letter.pdf

EPA authority over carbon was mandated by the Supreme Court, and it works for us as entrepreneurs. In fact, it’s pretty much the only thing keeping our clean energy economy on track. Why? Because if we know what we can expect from the federal government, we know how to plan for the future. If we are left instead to rely on the vagaries of politics to determine how to regulate pollution, we’re left trying to chart a course in the dark. Congress had a chance to pass a comprehensive carbon and climate bill last year; but since it fumbled that opportunity, the job at least for now is up to the EPA.

Now more than ever, we need clarity. Clean energy businesses are just beginning to emerge and grow and lead the economy out of recession. By suddenly changing the rules, Congress would send a massive signal to clean energy and clean technology businesses that the future once again is murky. It would also send a signal to the rest of the world that the United States is closing up shop when it comes to clean energy innovations, leaving the growth and the future to other countries.

We would also lose a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity for U.S. manufacturers on the international market. Our companies could be the leading global suppliers of cleaner cars, cleaner fuels, and cleaner power, and of technologies that improve industrial, power plant and building efficiency – if only Congress lets them.

The bottom line is this: Businesses and investors need a clear market signal on the country’s approach to carbon pollution. We have that from the EPA. We don’t need Congress to cloud the future again.

Photo by spekulator.