Today, we face one of our greatest challenges - securing clean, domestic energy for our continued economic growth and national security. We simply cannot continue to depend on foreign sources of oil for our energy needs. We need to build on our efforts to help achieve energy independence and recognize that good energy policy is also good environmental policy.
We need more conservation, efficiency, and production of domestically available fuels. It is imperative that we invest in research and development of alternative and renewable sources - such as wind, solar, biomass, and coal to liquids. We need technology to capture carbon emissions, sequester CO2 and make coal plants cleaner. We need to solve the nuclear waste issue and build more carbon-free nuclear power plants for electricity generation.
My Ultra-deepwater bill, which established a research and development program to produce new technologies to drill in ultra-deep areas of the Gulf and on land, was approved several years ago by Congress. This program holds great promise for new technologies that will allow us to tap the nearly 50 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil remaining in this country. The U.S. has 55 years of natural gas resources in the Lower --48, but much of this requires new technologies to produce economically and efficiently. Some 80% of these resources are on lands that are not subject to any access restrictions. New technologies will increase domestic energy supplies, which will lower energy costs to consumers. These technologies will enable less expensive, more efficient, and more environmentally-friendly domestic natural gas production.
I support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Today the U.S. imports 60% of our oil abroad -- that's over $400 billion dollars a year going to other countries. Drilling in ANWR would make us more energy independent, generate money for the Treasury, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Drilling on 2,000 out of 19 million acres would not even dot the surface of ANWR. It would be like placing a postage stamp in the corner of a tennis court and saying that the postage stamp ruins the entire court. We have the resources; we are only hurting ourselves if we don't use them.
CAP AND TRADE
H.R 2454 was introduced by Representative Henry Waxman of California and Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts, on May 15, 2009. The bill would make a number of changes to current energy and environmental policies largely aimed at reducing emissions of gases. It would also limit or cap the quantity of certain greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted from facilities that generate electricity and from other industrial activities over the 2012-2050 period. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would establish two separate regulatory initiatives known as cap-and-trade programs--one covering emissions of most types of GHGs and one covering hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The EPA would issue allowances to emit those gases under the cap-and-trade programs. Some of those allowances would be auctioned by the federal government and the remainder would be distributed at no charge.
I voted against H.R. 2454 in committee deliberation, as I, along with a majority of my Republican colleagues, believe that the Waxman-Markey climate change bill is a job killer that will hit every American with a national energy tax. In its current form, the plan would have a devastating impact on the price at the pump and utility bills across the country. Various estimates suggest anywhere between 1.8 and 7 million American jobs could be lost, as manufacturing jobs would relocate to countries with less stringent environmental regulations, like China and India. The agriculture industry would be exposed to increased cost as well. Petroleum and natural gas costs would rise under the new tax, the cost of producing food would rise, causing food and grocery prices to increase across the country. This tax could also cause families to pay more than $3,100 a year in extra energy costs in states that rely heavily on carbon-based energy to heat homes and power businesses.
As a Senior Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, my goal is to develop a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but that will also not be harmful to our economy. I will focus my efforts on promoting the development and use of technologies that will capture carbon dioxide from sources both mobile and stationary, because without the technology, there is no chance of success at meeting any reduction goals. I will continue to oppose H.R. 2454 in its current form as it moves through the legislative process.
EPA's ENDANGERMENT FINDING ON CO2
I am alarmed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Obama Administration are forging ahead before Congress has finalized any legislation, and are taking further steps to promote Federal regulations of carbon dioxide. There is growing concern and evidence that scientific data, from which global warming theories emerged, has been manipulated, enhanced or deleted. The IPCC data was used by the EPA as part of the data that went into their endangerment finding. This is especially problematic since the endangerment finding will most likely be used as the basis for a regulatory regime in the U.S.
Recent events have uncovered extensive evidence from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in England, which involved many researchers across the globe discussing the destruction, alteration and suppression of data that did not support global warming claims. Leaked email exchanges detail attempts to alter data that is the basis of climate modeling. These exchanges reveal actions that constitute a serious breach of scientific ethics.
Regulations based on the EPA's endangerment finding could undermine economic growth and destroy American jobs. It is irresponsible for the Federal government to tax energy consumption and put more Americans out of work. Some republican colleagues and I will soon be introducing a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that gives Congress the authority to undo agency regulations. The CRA is a very influential tool for policymakers because if Congress successfully disapproves a rule, the rule "may not be