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Public Statements

Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5351, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act.

I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, which promotes renewable energy by providing more than $8 billion in long-term tax incentives for electricity produced from renewable sources and encourages greater energy efficiency improvements to homes and commercial buildings.

H.R. 5351 also repeals $18 billion in tax subsidies and loopholes that have for too long benefited the big multi-national oil and gas companies, even as they continue to reap record-breaking profits. While Exxon Mobil raked in $40 billion in earnings last year, American families paid skyrocketing gas prices. In my home State of Hawai'i, where about 90 percent of our energy comes from imported petroleum, residents pay among the Nation's highest prices for electricity and fuel, an average of $3.54 per gallon at the pump. In some parts of the State, the cost for a gallon of regular gas has risen to nearly $4.00. Consumers in Hawaii and across the Nation should not be burdened by excessively high energy costs while also facing a growing credit and housing crisis.

We cannot continue to rely upon Big Oil and offshore oil producers to supply our energy needs at the expense of consumers and the environment. This bill contains long-term tax incentives to achieve energy independence by expanding production of renewable homegrown fuels and electricity in addition to extending tax credits for solar energy, fuel cell investment, and residential energy efficient property.

I believe that H.R. 5351 will do much to put us on a path toward energy independence, create new jobs as we invest in renewable energy production, and help tight global warming. I urge my colleagues to support this measure.

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