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Mr. SCALISE. I want to thank my friend from Illinois on his leadership on this issue as well. As my other colleague said, this is one of those big battles that happens up here in Congress not too often, but at a time when we are facing very difficult times in our economy.
We are talking about different things that we can do to get our economy back on track. But for the last few years, a lot of us have been talking about what we need to do to really achieve energy independence, to reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, stop sending billions of dollars to countries that don't like us, but also to really promote those alternatives in our own country so that we can get to that next level of generation of new energy sources.
So this bill, this cap-and-trade energy tax, comes before us. If you look at President Obama's own budget, President Obama's budget estimates that a cap-and-trade energy tax would generate $646 billion in new taxes on American families--something that would have a devastating impact.
The National Association of Manufacturers estimates 3 million to 4 million jobs would be lost. The President's own budget director says average American families would pay thousands of dollars more on their home utility bills. So I think as people look at this, they realize this is the wrong approach.
The good news is there is a better way to do this. We filed last year the American Energy Act, a bill to actually promote a comprehensive energy plan to get energy independence in America, but to get it by using our own natural resources; to explore our oil, our natural gas, which we keep finding more reserves throughout the country. Up in Shreveport, Louisiana, we found the largest natural gas reserve in the country's history.
So we have got those natural resources in our own country. Unfortunately, a lot of policies here stop us from using them. That could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars for our economy, and then you would use that money to promote and find and explore those alternative sources of energy like wind, like solar, to get those online; to encourage more conservation, as people are already doing.
But we also need to include clean coal technology and nuclear power. Nuclear is a source that emits no carbon. And so as we have heard from some of these studies, the Spain study is a really good indicator, a country that has gone down this cap-and-trade energy tax road and has realized how devastating it is to their economy.
That study that just came out in Spain that said for every green job they created, every permanent green job, they lost over 20 full-time jobs, because even the bulk of the jobs they created were temporary jobs. So for every job they created that was a permanent job, they lost 20 jobs in their economy. And they have realized it was a failure.
America surely shouldn't go down that road. That's why we are proposing these alternatives. There is a much better way--a way that we can achieve American energy independence by promoting the alternatives and using our natural resources that we have in this country to create good jobs, keep those jobs here, promote the alternative sources of energy, and reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
I thank the gentleman for his leadership on this issue.
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