A little more than two years ago, I was in Paris with E2 members from across the country celebrating the most important climate agreement the world has ever known.

Oh, how times have changed.

President Trump abandoned the Paris climate accord, leaving the United States as the only nation not doing its part to fight global climate change. EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt has started rolling back the federal Clean Power Plan, the core of the U.S. commitment in Paris. Congress is mulling massive cuts – even elimination – of federal funding for energy efficiency programs and clean energy research and development.

But here’s the thing. As we start off 2018, I’m actually optimistic that ‘1-8 will be great.

Why?

It’s because when Washington chooses not to lead,  E2 members and other business leaders are standing up stepping out and making their voices heard – whether at the Citizen’s Climate March, with the #WeAreStillIn Campaign, or through the scores of letters, meetings, and petitions we send to state and federal lawmakers.

It’s because even as Washington is going backward on clean energy and climate, states are moving forward. Some major victories E2 and its members helped make happen in 2017:

  • California passed an extension of what has become the nation’s most important climate policy – its carbon cap and trade program
  • Passed at the end of 2016, the Future Energy Jobs Bill expanded clean energy in Illinois last year and established the state as the Midwest leader in clean energy jobs
  • Colorado passed new energy efficiency standards
  • Northeastern states extend and expanded the he Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

And it’s because after adding new staff, new resources and new programs to expand our reach and breadth in 2017, E2 is better positioned than ever and more prepared to bring your business voices to bear like never before in 2018 around the country and, yes, in Washington D.C. too.

I hope you’ll take time to read through this newsletter about some of our 2017 successes, meet some of our new staff members and learn about our priorities in 2018. I hope you’ll continue to support our work by joining us or renewing your membership through a tax-deductible donation at www.e2.org/join and getting personally involved in our work.

And I hope you’ll join me throughout 2018 in the fight for policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment, and in my optimism today for a brighter tomorrow.

It’s a New Year. I look forward to working with you to make it a better one.