Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this afternoon after President Barack Obama delivered his speech on energy:
"We appreciate the President's ongoing commitment and call for comprehensive energy reform legislation that is critical to America's energy independence, economic growth and national security.
"It was important for the American people to hear from the President about the steps being taken by the federal government and the military to lower our nation's dependence on foreign oil. We welcome the President's announcement that tomorrow the Administration will finalize standards to increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than 30 years. And we support the President in highlighting the federal government's investment in clean energy that will not only create good-paying American jobs, but also help the environment.
"The Obama Administration's initiative regarding drilling on public lands must ensure that any offshore and onshore plan proceeds in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner. Taxpayers who own these resources have been historically shortchanged from the huge profits received from drilling on public lands, and must receive a fair return in the future.
"Through the historic and job-creating investments in the Recovery Act, our nation has taken solid steps toward a clean energy future. The clean energy jobs legislation passed by the House last year preserves our manufacturing base, protects consumers, strengthens our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and keeps America number one by making our country a world leader in new technologies.
"We remain committed to working with the President on comprehensive reform to ensure our nation's energy security."
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The House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act will:
* CREATE AND SAVE JOBS: Moving to a clean energy economy and transitioning off foreign oil will create whole new industries and millions of new jobs. A recent jobs study concluded that the American Clean Energy and Security Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would create 1.7 million new clean energy jobs. [Center for American Progress]
* MAKE US MORE ENERGY INDEPENDENT: The American Clean Energy and Security Act - combined with the 2007 energy bill and the Obama Administration's plan to ramp up vehicle fuel efficiency standards - will cut the use of oil by more than 5 million barrels a day in 2030. That is equivalent to all the oil we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela and one-fourth of our nation's current total daily consumption.
* REDUCE POLLUTION/FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE: The American Clean Energy and Security Act would reduce total climate change emissions 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. The efficiency savings alone will reduce projected carbon pollution in 2020 by the equivalent of taking 57 million cars off the road for a year. [ACEEE]
* KEEP COSTS LOW: Transitioning from foreign oil and creating millions of jobs will have minimal impact on average households--just 20 to 32 cents a day--less than a postage stamp -- or $74 to $117 per year. [EPA] The bill helps all consumers with price spike protection, with additional monthly energy refunds so those in need will see no cost. The bill will not increase the federal deficit. Investing in energy efficiency technology will save the average American household more than $4,000 by 2030. [ACEEE]