MCNERNEY PUSHES FOR GREEN, SUSTAINABLE FUTURE WITH VOTE ON ENERGY BILL
Landmark energy bill includes overdue hike in CAFE standards, geothermal incentives
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Jerry McNerney cast his vote for ground-breaking energy legislation that includes a long overdue increase in national fuel efficiency standards - the first in 32 years.
The bill also includes measures Rep. McNerney wrote and introduced separately to increase research and development funds for clean, 100-percent domestic, enhanced geothermal energy along with job training for the millions of green jobs that will be created through clean technology research, production and use over the next 10 years.
The energy legislation passed by a vote of 314-100.
"This energy bill represents a significant step forward in reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil, reducing global warming, and lowering energy costs," Rep. McNerney said. "Particularly at a time of rising gas prices, raising the fuel efficiency standards is a common sense step that will mean American vehicles can travel further while using less gas. The technology is there, we just have to put it into practice."
This final iteration of energy legislation has already cleared the Senate and President Bush has indicated he will sign it into law.
The signature feature of the initiative approved by the House today raises vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years, requiring 35 miles per gallon by 2020. In addition, the bill strengthens national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil, supports cutting edge-research and the development of new technologies that will bring down energy costs and help create new jobs.
In particular, the legislation includes provisions of a bill originally authored by Rep. McNerney, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, H.R. 2304, which will increase research and development funding for next-generation geothermal technology. Geothermal has the potential to generate vast amounts of clean power that is 100-percent domestic and always available.
The legislation also includes a bill originally introduced by Rep. McNerney, in conjunction with Reps. Solis and Tierney, to conduct job training for workers to fill the millions of new "green" jobs that will be created over the next 10 years.
"While I am pleased about much of what was included in the final version of the energy bill, I believe this just a first step in truly moving our nation to energy independence and addressing climate change," said Rep. McNerney.
"This compromise legislation unfortunately does not include a national renewable electricity standard which, as former wind energy engineer, I know would kickstart the renewable energy industry - leading to massive job creation and allowing the U.S. to reduce the burning of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change and air pollution," Rep. McNerney continued. "I will continue to fight for a renewable energy standard as well as production tax credits and other incentives to encourage renewable energy job growth, use and production."
Important statistics on the House- and Senate-passed energy bill:
* Increases vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon in 2020 - the first congressional increase in 32 years. This CAFE standards increase represents the equivalent of taking 28 million vehicles off the road.
* Increased vehicle fuel efficiency will save American families $700 to $1,000 a year at the pump.
* New fuel efficiency standards will produce $22 billion in net annual savings for consumers in 2020.
* Slashes U.S. oil consumption by more than 4 million barrels per day by 2030 -more than twice our daily imports from the Persian Gulf.
* Increases the efficiency of buildings, homes, appliances, and lighting, reducing emissions.
* Building, appliance, and lighting efficiency will save consumers $400 billion through 2030.
* Job training will prepare workers for 3 million new green' jobs over 10 years.