WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of the Energy Independence and Security Act, a landmark bill that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and benefit our security, economy, and environment. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Mr. Speaker, this landmark, bipartisan legislation – the Energy Independence and Security Act – represents a vital turning point for our nation and an historic accomplishment for this Congress.
"Today, we set a new direction for this country in the area of energy policy.
"Our nation's energy policy is inextricably linked to our national security, our economic security, and our environmental security.
"And, I have long believed that we must summon our national will, resources and ingenuity to make significant gains in technology, conservation and vehicle efficiency, and the use of alternative fuels in order to end our reliance on foreign oil and other imported sources of energy.
"With this legislation, we will move toward real energy independence that results in a stronger economy, more jobs and healthier communities.
"The Chairs and Ranking Members that worked tirelessly to produce this bill are to be commended. Under the leadership of Chairman Dingell, this bill includes historic fuel economy, renewable fuels, and energy efficiency provisions.
"The increase in the fuel efficiency of vehicles to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 is the first in a generation, and is supported by environmentalists and the automobile industry.
"Furthermore, it will result in $22 billion in net annual consumer savings by 2020, and reduce greenhouse gases in an amount equal to taking off the road 28 million of today's average cars and trucks.
"Among other things, this bill will reduce our reliance on foreign oil by investing in the production and infrastructure needed to deploy homegrown bio-fuels. It provides incentives for plug-in hybrid cars. And it includes landmark energy efficiency provisions that will save consumers and businesses at least $300 billion through 2030.
"Let no one be mistaken: This bill, while comprehensive, does not represent the totality of our energy policy. There is still much more to do.
"For example, we should take up legislation to establish a renewable portfolio standard and extend the production tax credit and do so promptly.
"We also should continue to work across the aisle and with the Senate to reach further consensus on issues such as the use of renewables, the development of new technologies, and the fiscally responsible extension of needed energy tax provisions.
"Mr. Speaker, this legislation is an historic turning point in America’s energy policy. And, I urge all of my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to support it.