A Historic Step Towards Energy Independence
Last Friday, June 26th, my House colleagues and I took an important and long overdue step to promote energy independence and curb greenhouse gas emissions by passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2998). This historic legislation will help jumpstart clean energy technology and address the negative health and environmental effects of climate change. Passed by a bi-partisan vote of 219 to 212, this measure will also create good paying jobs here in America and lower consumer energy costs. For the first time, the legislation establishes a national renewable energy standard and requires immediate and significant reductions in harmful greenhouse gas emissions. It will also spur a green jobs revolution, making America competitive in the global market place when it comes to designing and building the next generation of clean energy technology that will use wind, solar, and bio-fuels. It will also improve our national security by helping to wean us off foreign fossil fuels.
I serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee and over the past two years I have participated in over 30 hearings on the topic of climate change and the need for this legislation. Working closely with Committee Chairman Waxman I was able to help shape this important bill, even ensuring that it included my Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act (H.R. 2323). This legislation would improve the public health response to climate change through research, surveillance, planning and interagency coordination. As a nurse and a mother and grandmother, I've been very troubled by climate change's negative effect on public health. We see it firsthand in our families as more of our kids struggle with asthma and allergies. We have to provide our public health officials with the tools and resources they need to track and effectively combat the public health challenges posed by climate change.
Passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act is an important step to make America safer, stronger, and healthier. I hope the Senate moves quickly on this important legislation.