"Our economy is driven by energy, so we must make sure that we have the clean, domestic energy sources that we need for a 21st century economy. Our children should not be burdened by a damaged environment, nor should they be dependent on foreign sources for their energy. I am working to develop renewable energy in the United States and ensure that clean, affordable energy is available to all Americans." - Rep. Adam Schiff
Topics in the section:
* Gas Prices
* Offshore Drilling
* Renewable Energy
* Energy Efficiency
* Gas Prices
The Price of Gas
The price of gasoline has risen dramatically in the last few years. Although there are many reasons that oil prices have risen, including conflict in the Middle East and increased demand from the developing world, Congressman Schiff believes that the record high profits of oil companies--some posting the highest quarterly profits of any company in history--are exacerbating the problem. He has cosponsored the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, which would make it easier for the government to prosecute companies that take unfair advantage of unusual market conditions. This bill passed the House on May 23, 2007 by a vote of 284-141.
In the long term, Congressman Schiff believes that the best way to lower energy prices is to invest in alternative fuels and fuel efficiency. He has advocated for increased fuel economy standards for many years, and is a cosponsor of the Fuel Economy Reform Act, which would raise fuel economy standards by about 4% per year to ensure that we preserve our energy security.
Drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast can lead to oil spills and other environmental damage in some of the most important ecosystems in the world. It also puts at risk fisheries that have already been damaged by years of overfishing. Congressman Schiff believes that we can achieve energy independence without drilling in sensitive offshore areas, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. He has cosponsored the Bristol Bay Protection Act, which prohibits the sale of oil and gas leases in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska. This remarkable ecosystem is home to countless marine species and one of the largest fisheries in the world, which would be at risk if oil and gas development occurred.
As a member of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, Congressman Schiff has long advocated for increased investments in the search for alternative fuels and the development of energy efficient technology. Today, European and Asian competitors are already developing technologies that will reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions of greenhouse gases. Rather than American entrepreneurs, it is our competitors who are prospering from these developments. By marshalling America's great strengths - our innovativeness, our technological prowess, and our entrepreneurial spirit - Congressman Schiff believes that we can better secure our nation, save the environment, and become the world leader in a cutting edge industry.
Already Congress has taken the first steps on the road to a renewable energy economy. Congressman Schiff cosponsored H.R. 6, the CLEAN Energy Act, which repealed tax breaks on oil companies and reserved the money to support clean, renewable energy. This bill passed the House in January 2007 and was sent to the Senate for consideration.
Congressman Schiff has also cosponsored the Securing America's Energy Independence Act, which would extend for eight years the tax credit for installing solar panels or fuel cells to provide clean energy for individual homes and businesses. The bill would also increase the size of home installations that are eligible for the credit, and provide an accelerated depreciation schedule for these investments in clean energy. He has also cosponsored the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, which would support the development of geothermal energy, an important renewable energy resource that makes up a large fraction of California's renewable energy production.
The easiest and cheapest way to reduce our dependence on foreign energy is to reduce our overall energy consumption through improved efficiency. Congressman Schiff cosponsored a suite of bills to address this challenge, including H.R. 589, the Get Real Incentives to Drive Plug-in Act, which would support the development of plug-in hybrids through research funding and government agency purchases, H.R. 539, the Buildings for the 21st Century Act, which would increase and extend the tax deduction for energy-efficient buildings, and H.R. 969, a bill to phase in a federal standard that twenty percent of all energy must be renewable by 2020.