Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur voted in favor of comprehensive energy legislation to lower costs, invest in renewable energy sources, create good-paying jobs in the United States, expand domestic drilling both on land and off shore, and increase national security by freeing America from the grip of foreign oil.
In a significant development, the legislation restores the solar and wind energy investment tax credits to spur growth in these important new energy sectors that hold great promise for creating new jobs and diversifying the economy in northern Ohio. Congresswoman Kaptur has been successful in directing more than $50 million in legislative projects to promote alternative energy research and development in the Ninth Congressional District.
The U.S. House passed the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 6899) by a vote of 286-139. The bill also requires utility companies to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources--such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, wave and tidal--by 2020, saving consumers an estimated $13-18 billion and reducing dangerous carbon emissions.
"This important legislation takes us beyond the 'Drill, baby, drill' mentality and puts our country on a realistic track for producing more energy here at home while investing in renewable technologies that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It's the right plan at the right time. It will bring down prices and give us an energy strategy for the future," Kaptur said.
The Act would lower gasoline prices immediately by temporarily releasing almost 10 percent of the oil from the government's stockpile - the Strategic Petroleum Reserve - and replacing it later with heavier, cheaper crude oil.
The legislation does not ignore the benefits of exploiting our limited petroleum resources with expanded drilling. It permits offshore drilling in waters between 50 and 100 miles offshore if the state allows leasing off its coastline and prohibits drilling on the Great Lakes.
The legislation rolls back $18 billion in tax breaks for the five largest oil companies and requires oil companies to pay royalties already owed to taxpayers. "If Republicans like George Bush and John McCain have their way, we'll be left with a policy that gives Big Oil more land, more oil, more taxpayer dollars, and all the record profits, while American families and businesses suffer," Kaptur said. "This is an important step toward change that will help end - not prolong - our addiction to oil. "
Last year, Congresswoman Kaptur supported historic energy legislation signed by the President that included provisions to combat oil market manipulation, increase vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon in 2020 - the first Congressional increase in more than three decades - and promote the use of more affordable American biofuels.