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Public Statements

Hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee-The U.S. Climate Action Partnership

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


HEARING OF THE HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
SUBJECT: THE U.S. CLIMATE ACTION PARTNERSHIP
CHAIRED BY: REP. HENRY A. WAXMAN (D-CA)

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The coalition of American businesses and environmental groups before us today represents the evolution that has occurred on the issue of global warming. We have emerged from the last decade primordial ooze of discord and delay on global warming action. We have now arrived on terra firma, where hard emissions reductions targets must supplant voluntarily measures that aren't up to the job. And instead of struggling to stay afloat in a mire of skepticism, we're not poised to march forward with a new climate-friendly Obama administration and congressional leadership.

But evolution will only take us so far on this issue. What we now need is legislative intelligent design. Now the hard task of enacting global warming legislation is before us.

The witnesses here today, their shareholders and members, and a growing majority of Americans know that the key to our economic growth, national security and planetary survival is to pass energy and climate legislation that will finally unleash the clean energy revolution that has been building for years.

The CEOs that are testifying before us today are not here to harm shareholder value. They are here to help lay out a plan which will enhance shareholder value in the years ahead, to target where the economic growth opportunities are for our country and to create the jobs that will employ Americans for this generation and generations to come. That is why they are here. They understand the problems better than any that our country is faced with today economically.

Our country has been hit by an economic tsunami. At the same time, we are feeling the early effects of a climate storm that is growing stronger and approaching faster than predicted just a few years ago. Comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation is the solution to both of these problems, and it is a solution for the whole country. High-tech hubs like Massachusetts and sunny California will benefit, but so will steelworkers in Pennsylvania and former Maytag manufacturing workers in Iowa who are building blades for wind turbines. And ranches in Texas and South Dakota are seeing their relentless winds turned into revenue with every turn of the wind turbines sprouting on their lands.

Last year I introduced iCAP, the Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act, as my contribution to the climate policy discussion. Many of the core ideas of iCAP are reflected in the discussion draft put forward by Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher this past October, and many are consistent with the blueprint issued by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership today.

Those developments bode well for the work before us, and I look forward to working with you, Chairman Waxman, chosen newly as the chairman, because you have shown such tremendous leadership on this issue. I look forward to working with the other members of the committee, the administration and the American people to enact climate legislation that will save our economy and protect the planet.

As the new chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, I am committed to moving a bill as quickly as possible in partnership with Chairman Waxman and all of the members, bipartisan, Democrat and Republican, so that we can as quickly as possible deal with this issue because the urgency of the problem demands swift action.

So I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think it's very appropriate that you made this the first hearing, and the quality of this panel represents the magnitude of this issue.

And I yield back the balance of my time.

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