AMERICAN CLEAN ENERGY AND SECURITY ACT OF 2009 -- (House of Representatives - June 26, 2009)
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Mr. COSTELLO. Madam Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
I believe that climate change is occurring, and that increased greenhouse gas emissions have profoundly impacted our climate and our resources. To combat these changes, we need to develop a sustainable energy policy that will meet our energy needs today without compromising the ability of our children and grandchildren to meet their energy needs tomorrow.
For these reasons, I support a balanced energy plan that will increase our energy independence by promoting the development and deployment of 1) renewable domestic sources of energy, such as ethanol and biodiesel, and 2) technology that will use traditional fuels in a cleaner way, such as clean coal carbon capture and storage. These energy sources eventually may satisfy the needs of the entire country, but they are still being developed and expanded. We must ensure that Americans maintain access to affordable and reliable energy until these sources are broadly available.
I oppose H.R. 2454 because it does not provide a bridge for coal and other fossil fuels to develop and demonstrate new technologies to provide reliable energy and meet the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The timelines contained in this legislation do not provide sufficient time to put these technologies in place. Manufacturers and utility companies will be forced to stop using the affordable, abundant fuels they use today and transition to far more expensive energy sources. As a result, this bill will force our most affordable domestic energy source, coal, into extinction. Energy costs will skyrocket and workers will face layoffs and plant closures. American families cannot face these additional burdens during these difficult economic times.
In addition, we cannot ignore the fact that climate change is a global problem and requires a global solution. We must consider the consequences of enacting this legislation when other countries, like China and India, have not taken steps to reduce their own carbon emissions. Without some measure of equity on this issue, our emissions may appear to decrease, but they will simply shift overseas, taking jobs and industries with them.
Madam Speaker, I oppose H.R. 2454 because it does not do enough to bridge the transition to clean energy sources, to prevent spikes in electricity costs, to protect workers from new layoffs, or to provide a global solution to climate change. Quite simply, it is the wrong bill at the wrong time. I ask my colleagues to join me in opposing this measure.
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