Speech on American Clean Energy and Security Act on House Floor

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...mr. waxman: i'm pleased to yield to the majority leader one minute so that he may speak on this amendment and the legislation that's before us. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mark this day, june 26, 2009, my colleagues we have an opportunity to serve in a historic session of the congress of the united states. we have an opportunity to take action that will make a major difference in the security and independence and environment of our globe as well as our country. we have been given the privilege by our fellow citizens to serve in a time of historic change and meeting challenges that were the subject of this past presidential campaign. in this past presidential campaign, there were three major candidates. you could perhaps name more. but there were two certainly at the end. and the campaign of senator mccain and senator obama had something in common. they were both for comprehensive cap and trade legislation. the candidate you supported and the candidate i supported. they put an agenda of action befo the american people that they would pursue if they were elected president of the united states. only one could be elected. but presumably both would have followed through on their commitment, and this president has and we are today. this is a transformative moment. this is a moment to build a clean energy future for our country. this is a moment to create jobs in america. this is a moment to take on at long last a defining challenge of our time, global warming. i know my colleagues can seize this moment. if they only will. the substitute talks about a manhattan project. i think e sentiments expressed in the substitutes are good ones. the objectives are good ones. but america voted for action. not additional studies. america voted to make a difference, not to make a point. america voted for the change we could believe in. that's what this bill represents. i know they can look back from a future in which america is independent of foreign oil. there has been much talk about taxes. tragically, almost every day debate we have on this floor deinvolves into, we're going to raise your taxes. my fellow americans know about ving their expenses raised. because the foreign potentates who hold us hostage because they provide so much of our energy gave us a new tax at the gas pump and every american remembers it. why? because we have not taken the action necessary to become energy independent. so our gasoline prices at the pump for my commuters who drive sometimes an hour or an hour and a half to get to work to support their families paid an additional $2.50 per gallon tax imposed by those from abroad. who provide us energy. this bill is about making sure that foreign interests cannot raise the expenses of our families. this bill is about making sure that we in america provide our energy. efficient energy. clean energy. energy that will not bring our globe to a heating process that will drown out what the navy calls the literals. the seashores. where most of our people live. my colleagues, this bill, the american clean energy and security act, is a true turning point. this is one of the historic actions we will take not just in this congress, but as members of congress for however long a tenure we may have. it's a complex bill. because we face a complex problem. but we can sum up its outcome simply. new american jobs. less dependence on foreign energy. a reduction in the carbon pollution that causes global warming. how does this bill accomplish those goals? among its most important provisions are a requirement that utilities meet 20% of electric demand through renewable sources and energy efficiency by 2020. i'm old enough to remember the lines of the 1970's. when you waited in line an hour or two or three to put gasoline in your car so you could get your child to school. get to work. pick up your child from child care. and america should have acted. but we did not. today, we're going to act. significant new investments in renewables. carbon capture and squest ration. electric vehicles and cutting edge energy research. all of that is in this bill to take action. change that america can believe in. and energy saving standards for buildings, appliances, energy. this bill creates a clean energy bank to fund clean energy projects across america. investment in america's ingenuity and innovative entrepreneurial spirit. that's what this bill is about. that is why it's so important to america. and it invests in high-tech transmission lines to build the essential foundation for a more efficient grid that is essential if the energy we produced can be delivered to those who need it in businesses and in homes. new transmission lines comprised of superconducting cable and other efficient wires will carry more power within existing rights of way with less land use, the result will be a more secure, environmentally friendly grid. that's what this bill does. i work with the chairman and representative inslee to ensure that those transmissions provisions were included because they're such an important part of a more cost effective, energy efficient future that our country needs. of course the bill also includes the reduction of our carbon emissions by 17% by 2020. some would like to do more. some would like to do less. but we have reached a compromise. that is the legislative proces it ia compromise that can pass this house and pass that senate, be signed by the president and become law and make progres that's what our responsibility is. then more than 80% reduction by 2050. we can fight global warming with the same kind of market-based cap and trade solution that was so effective in combating acid rain at minimal cost in the 1990's. global warming threatens every one of us. there was disagreement on that for a long period of time. some seven years in the bush administration, until the last year, president bush, our president, decided that yes, global warming was in fact a challenge that must be met. this is not a partisan issue. it is an issue on which we have reached consensus. global warming threatens every one of us. it will affect the kind of live ours children will lead and the kind of prosperity our country and world will enjoy. to those who complain about the cost of the bill, i answer we are all paying the cost of carbon emissions already. and certainly as i pointed out earlier, paying the cost of being hostage to those abroad who provide our energy. the longer we wait to act, the more we will pay year after year after year. if we take action now we can get jobs, growth, clean energy, and energy independence for less than the price of a ...