PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 7060, RENEWABLE ENERGY AND JOB CREATION TAX ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - September 25, 2008)
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Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my good friend from New York for yielding me the time and for his management of this important rule and the important legislation that we're going to have a chance to debate and consider in a short while.
But I also want to thank the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee for his strong commitment to the rural school portion that's been discussed on the floor here.
As someone who represents Western Wisconsin, with many rural schools, I have the utmost confidence that we're going to find a way, working with the Senate, whether it's in conference in the reconciliation that will inevitably have to take place between this energy tax incentive extender bill that we have before us and what they've moved earlier in the week in order to get this provision done. It is important, across the aisle, that we accomplish that.
But let's get back to the substance of what we have before us here, which represents, I believe, an important step along the road to developing a comprehensive energy plan that makes sense for our country's future and our children's future because of the crucial investment that it makes with the tax incentives to develop alternative and renewable energy sources in this country.
Throughout the summer, and for too long, we have heard the chant from the other side that the answer to our energy woes is ``drill, drill, drill.'' But Thomas Friedman is correct in stating that it's comparable to a group of citizens standing up on the eve of the information technology revolution, screaming for more electric typewriters, electric typewriters, electric typewriters, when our national chant really should be, ``invent, invent, invent.'' It's the only way we're going to see our way out of the energy box and crisis that we're facing as a Nation and throughout the world. That's what this bill helps us to accomplish, with tax incentives for the development of wind and solar, fuel cell development, geothermal, electric hybrid technology, but also the incentives to enhance conservation and an efficiency program, which is another important aspect towards energy independence; extending the credit for energy efficient improvements to existing homes, for instance, energy efficient commercial buildings, energy efficient appliance credits, accelerated depreciation for smart meters and smart grid systems, qualified green building and sustainable design projects, as well as the extension of the R&D tax credit, which will help spur the investment in clean technology and clean energy sources.
The only real difficulty we have with this legislation is the fact that the Democratic Party, since we took the majority, believes that we need to start paying for things again. We have responsible offsets to pay for this so we don't dig a hole deeper for our children to climb out of. And when we adopted pay-as-you-go budgeting rules, we did it not because we thought it was going to be fun or easy. We did it because we thought it was the responsible thing to do, so that we don't leave a legacy of debt to our children and grandchildren.
And the revenue offsets that we identify in this bill to pay for the investment and build-out of renewable energy in this country, come from the exorbitant tax breaks that big oil companies receive under their bill at a time of record profits with oil companies sitting on huge cash reserves. That's why this legislation is important, and I encourage my colleagues to support it.
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