Daniel Reilly, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to the Upton Bill. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Rather than invest in new energy technology, address carbon pollution, and create clean energy jobs—a priority of the Democrats’ Make It In America agenda—Republicans are choosing instead to deny the problem and take away America’s tools for responding to it.
"This bill would overturn auto emissions standards that are making our cars and trucks cheaper to drive and breaking our dependence on foreign oil. This bill would not do a single thing to bring down the price of gas—but it would keep America from saving 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of new cars entering the fleet. And it would do so at a time when the turmoil in the Middle East should serve as an energy-independence wakeup call.
"This bill would also significantly weaken the Clean Air Act. Over its 40-year span, the benefits of the Act—longer lives, healthier kids, greater workforce productivity, and protected ecosystems—have outweighed the costs by more than 30 to one. Last year, according to the EPA, just one part of the Clean Air Act prevented some 160,000 premature deaths, 130,000 heart attacks, and 100,000 hospital visits. And, according to the American Medical Association, 'if physicians want evidence of climate change, they may well find it in their own offices. Patients are presenting with illnesses that once happened only in warmer areas. Chronic conditions are becoming aggravated by more frequent and extended heat waves. Allergy and asthma seasons are getting longer.' And the Republican response is to make pollution easier.
"Finally, this bill overturns scientific findings that carbon pollution endangers the environment and human health, which have been confirmed by all of the world’s leading scientific academies. A partisan majority can pass whatever bill it wants—but it cannot legislate the facts out of existence, facts that as recently as a few years ago were accepted in both parties. What changed? The science, or the politics?
"Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill, which recklessly endangers our air, our health, our climate, and our energy independence."