Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders held a news conference today to discuss the comprehensive energy bill on the House floor today. The House is expected to vote on the bill tonight. Below are the Speaker's opening remarks:
"Good afternoon, my apologies for keeping you waiting in this warm room. I was getting the latest update from Secretary Paulson as to the state of our financial institutions.
"We're here today to talk about the good news that will happen on the floor later today. We will be passing a comprehensive energy bill that will honor our responsibility to make America energy independent, to free us from our dependence on foreign oil, a strong national security issue; to protect consumers, to lower prices and to protect the taxpayer, and third, to invest in renewable energy resources which will take us into the future. Fourth part of that: it will create good paying jobs here in America.
"We're really excited about it. My colleagues have told me to tell you that it's time for an oil change in America and this bill represents that.
"The energy bill puts us onto that path of independence by having a comprehensive legislation which is the result of a bipartisan compromise in favor of sweeping innovation solutions for America's energy future. The choice on the floor today is the status quo, which is preferred by Big Oil, the Big Oil status quo, or the change for the future to take our country in a New Direction.
"Republicans must set aside their drill-only mentality and embrace the provisions of this legislation, which is balanced, which is comprehensive, which respects the needs of the consumer. It is imperative that we are energy independent, so we can enhance the prospect for a great future of renewables and creating good paying jobs.
"So, again, it is with great excitement that I come before you on this very important day that represents a New Direction in our energy policy."