Ted Kennedy: A progressive green champion

In the week that Senator Ted Kennedy's death closed a major political chapter in US history a Treehugger.com looks at his influential role in the environmental movement. Being called a "progressive green champion" the "liberal lion" was known for his commitment to clean energy and wildlife protection.

Here are some of the highlights from Climate Progress:

Holding Oil Companies Accountable

During consideration of a 1975 tax cut proposal, Kennedy introduced a provision targeting the oil depletion allowance, which since 1926 had enabled oil producers to exclude 22 percent of their revenues from any taxes. Kennedy’s initiative passed overwhelmingly, trimming the allowance for independent producers and ending it for the major oil companies.

Raising Fuel Economy Standards

Senator Kennedy has a long and distinguished record supporting clean renewable sources of energy and reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels. More than 30 years ago he cosponsored the first law to establish fuel economy standards. And in 2007, he supported a law which increased fuel economy standards, which is essential to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Improving Energy Efficiency

Senator Kennedy was a strong proponent of increasing energy efficiency, which is an essential part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He was a long time supporter of programs like the weatherization assistance program and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program that helps those most in need reduce their energy bills by improving home energy efficiency.

Ted Kennedy did much more in his six terms as senator. The United States is a greener place thanks to his efforts. Ted Kennedy was one of the most powerful, respected, and influential senators in US history—it is my hope that his progressive view towards our environment and the beings that share it will be carried on within our government.

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