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Mr. LUJÁN. I thank the gentleman from Colorado.
Mr. Speaker, I speak today in support of H.R. 3585, in support of the rule in support of the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, a bill that I cosponsored and supported proudly during the committee process. And I commend Congresswoman Giffords for her work on this important bill.
Mr. Speaker, I come from a State that has over 300 days of sunshine, a State that has abundant solar resources, a State that recognizes that we have to get out in front of this. But as we talk about the Southwest and where we have a lot of sunshine, we cannot lose sight that countries like Germany, that don't have the abundant solar resources that we do here in the United States, but especially in the Southwest, are still ahead of us. They're outproducing us, they're generating more power from the sun. We have to get out in front of this issue, Mr. Speaker.
Solar energy production will support economic growth by creating jobs and opportunities for a clean energy workplace.
You know, as we talk about this issue, we see and we remember that this technology, solar technology, was invented and developed right here in the United States, right here in America; yet we're falling further and further behind. We talk about the need for more jobs, for making sure that we're getting ahead of this important energy issue. There is no reason that solar energy can't be and should not be--and it must be--a big part of the solar mix of the energy mix that we have right here in the United States.
When we talk about the investment in education, the emphasis with technology, engineering, mathematics, and science, making sure that we're building up that young group, those talented young people that will solve tomorrow's problems, investment in solar technology in developing a road map that will be essential in fully deploying and developing this technology is critically important. Our national laboratories at the forefront here are our colleges and universities. We have to invest in our engineers, our scientists, our researchers to provide this path forward.
The solar technology road map lays out a clear path for identifying our country's solar technologies, development needs and staying on track to address its importance. It lets us get back in the front on this issue, Mr. Speaker. The Solar Technology Roadmap Act will provide resources to our academic institutions, our national laboratories for research and development, and a demonstration of advanced techniques and manufacturing a variety of solar energy products.
Mr. Speaker, we can't wait any more. We all need to come together when we talk about the future of our energy needs in our country, solving our dependence on foreign sources of energy, getting back out in front of this very important issue.
This piece of legislation will allow us to get there and allow us to pave the way and, once again, Mr. Speaker, allow America, allow the United States, allow our scientists our entrepreneurs, our business people to use their hands, use their minds, use their hearts and their souls to get back out in front of this issue.
I urge my colleagues to vote for the rule and support this legislation that will set our country on a path to be a leader in solar energy.
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