WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in support of the historic Energy Independence and Security Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, we remember one of the most solemn occasions in our nation’s history, the 66th anniversary of a ‘date which will live in infamy,’ the day in which our nation was attacked by an enemy that we now count as a very close ally.
“Let us hope, many years from now, that this day – December 6, 2007 – will be remembered by future generations as the date upon which this new direction 110th Congress took an historic step in moving our nation toward real energy independence and casting off the bonds of dependency that threaten America’s national, economic and environmental security.
“The bipartisan, compromise legislation before us – the Energy Independence and Security Act – is nothing less than our generation’s declaration of independence from foreign sources of petroleum.
“In particular, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Dingell, and all the other Chairmen and Members who worked so hard to get us to this point.
“This legislation is not perfect. Few, if any, pieces of legislation are.
“However, when we pass this bill, we will be voting to strengthen our national security, lower energy costs, grow our economy and create new jobs, and begin to reduce global warming.
“Among other things, this legislation takes ground-breaking steps to increase the efficiency of our vehicles, raising fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 for new cars and trucks – the first increase in fuel economy standards since 1975.
“This provision alone will save American families an estimated $700 to $1,000 per year at the pump, and reduce oil consumption by 1.1 million gallons per day in 2020 – one-half of what we currently import from the Persian Gulf.
“This legislation also makes an historic commitment to American-grown bio-fuels, including incentives to boost the production of bio-fuels and the number of Flex Fuel and other alternative fuel vehicles, and establishing a tax credit for plug-in, hybrid vehicles.
“And, it requires that 15 percent of our electricity come from renewable sources; strengthens energy efficiency for a wide range of products, appliances, lighting and buildings to reduce energy costs to consumers; and repeals tax breaks for oil companies and invests that money in clean, renewable energy and American technologies.
“It is telling that this legislation is supported by a broad coalition of environmental, business, labor, and farm groups, as well as state and local officials.
“For example, Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, stated: ‘We believe this tough, national fuel economy bill will be good for both consumers and energy security.’
“And, Paul Bledsoe of the National Commission on Energy Policy said: ‘If it becomes law, this deal will mark the most important step toward improving U.S. oil security in a generation.’
“Mr. Speaker, our national character was challenged by an unprovoked attack at Pearl Harbor 66 years ago. We rose to the occasion then. And through our citizens’ will, intelligence, and ingenuity, we prevailed – and were strengthened.
“Today, we face a daunting but far different challenge – a challenge that compels us to confront and conquer our nation’s addiction to petroleum.
“This legislation will help us do so.
“I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle:
“Vote to cast off the chains of dependency that hold us back today and which threaten our national, economic and environmental security.
“Vote to put America on a path to achieve energy independence.
“Vote for this historic, bipartisan legislation.”