Investments in Renewable Energy Today Will Increase Our Security Tomorrow

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the majority leader is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. there are few members on this floor whom i respect more than the gentleman who has just spoken. jim mccreary from louisiana. he's going to be a loss to this house and to our country. he is a thoughtful, fair, and considerate legislator. he represents his state well. he's represented this house well. and i congratulate him for his service. but people of good will can disagree. and i want to make an observation. on this punitive measure. in 2004 the republicans passed a tax bill. historically manufacturers had gotten a tax break to incentivize keeping jobs here and trying to grow jobs in america. the oil companies were not included in that law as the gentleman knows so well, but the republicans added oil companies into the category of manufacturers. now, they are being taken out. so he says we added them in and now it would be unfair to take them out. they weren't in originally. we are taking them out. mr. speaker, this important legislation is explicit recognition that our great nation must make critical investments today in the development of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency. energy investments that will strengthen our national, economic, and environmental security for generations to come. i appreciated mr. mccreary's observation that part of this bill was a good bill. he disagree was other parts. that's understandable. but we must simply begin to break our addiction to fossil fuels. not because the oil companies are bad. they're not. they produce a product that's absolutely essential and they great jobs, good paying jobs. this is not about trying to take it out on the oil companies. but it is to say that fossil fuels are wasting resources. that is to say we are going to use it up. it's going to go away. and we need to look to alternatives. this morning headline in the ""new york times"" states that the harsh reality is, quote, gas prices soar, posing a threat to family budgets. the fact is the nationwide average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.14 this week. an increase of 19 cents in just the last 14 days. some energy experts fear gas prices could hit $4 a gallon by this spring. diesel prices are hitting new records daily, and oil will hit a record high of $1 00.88 on tuesday. this again is not about the bad oil companies. what this is about is america's dependence on foreign sources of oil. and on oil generally. either it's going away or we will be in the grasp of opec, of nations who are not particularly friendly to us. venezuela, saudi arabia, sometimes, sometimes not. iraq, iran, other oil producing states that can go away in a second. we are vulnerable and we need to look to alternatives. that's what this bill seeks to do. to be clear, this legislation alone will not bring down gas prices. but it is a vital step forward and may bring down gas prices three years from now or 10 years from now or 15 years from now. this bill is nothing less than a critical investment in the low-carbon economy of the future that will result in the creation of millions of new jobs. it extends the production tax credit for wind, geothermal, and other renewables to 2011. and renews the investment tax credit for individual homeowners and businesses to maintain incentives for solar energy through the end of 2016. without the prompt extension of these tax credits, renewable energy project work stoppages could cost 116,000 jobs at a time when we are trying to stimulate the economy. furthermore, this bill will spur the commercialization of the next generation of automobiles by establishing a $4,000 credit for the purchase of a plug-in high prid. -- high -- hybrid. tax credits are to get something that you need and might not get unless you get a incentive. i'll speak to that in reference to the oil companies in second. ...