Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today released the following statement following passage of H.R. 2454, the "American Clean Energy and Security Act."
"For more than 30 years our country has done little but talk about becoming energy independent, while everyday becoming more dependent on costly, dangerous and polluting foreign oil. That needs to change.
"I am voting for this bill because it is time America turned the corner and took bold action to clean the environment and develop alternative energy. We cannot allow countries whose opposition to democracy and support for terrorism grow with every barrel of oil they sell to continue to dominate energy politics.
"Today's legislation, while not perfect, is a badly needed and long overdue step toward a national energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, ensure our national security and leads us on a path toward cleaner energy.
"The fact of the matter is New Jersey and the Northeast are well ahead of the curve on many of the key elements of the legislation before the House.
"Here at home, the state of New Jersey is already subject to limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the ten-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. And our state renewable portfolio standard is more aggressive than the federal program contained in the bill.
"New Jersey serves as a national model for its investments in new, clean energy technologies that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions and created thousands of jobs. I heard from a number of New Jersey's leading businesses that firmly believe today's legislation would strengthen our state economy through innovative and sustainable job creation. It is time for other states to follow New Jersey's leadership and do their share to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate development of low-carbon energy sources and green jobs.
"I understand the concerns associated with the costs to consumers. Many leading experts differ on the economic impact the legislation will have on taxpayers. But the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has concluded that any costs incurred would be minimal - equivalent to the price of a first-class postage stamp a day.
"For my part, I joined a number of my colleagues in support of an amendment to provide some financial tax relief should this legislation adversely affect middle-class families. But we were not allowed to bring our amendment before the full House of Representatives for consideration. Rest assured I intend to work with the Senate on this issue and pledge to reduce any costs increases on ratepayers across the country.
"In the end, it is my strong view that it is in the best interest of New Jersey's economy and our nation for Congress to enact a national program to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of clean, renewable energy."