Three of the most critical issues of our time are converging and must be confronted simultaneously. They are our environment, our foreign policy and our economy. It is clear that we must end our reliance on foreign sources of fossil fuels. These fuels are damaging our environment and causing hazardous climate change around the globe. They are also making us indebted to foreign countries, putting our national security in jeopardy. Americans are seeing record fluctuations in the cost of energy; filling up the gas tank or heating a home has become difficult to afford.
This is why I have focused on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower the price of energy, and invest in renewable energy sources. In the short term, Congress must find ways to reduce volatility in energy prices, curb excess profits in the oil market and offer energy assistance when needed. That is why I introduced legislation to regulate speculation in the energy futures market. But, we also must find long-term solutions that will preserve our environment.
I have become convinced of the need for comprehensive legislation to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we are emitting into the environment. So, I introduced legislation called America's Security Trust Fund that would create a carbon tax. The legislation would tax polluters and their pollution and return that money to American families through a payroll tax rebate.
I have also led the fight in Congress for funding and research into hydrogen fuel cell technology. Connecticut is the center of the fuel cell industry. The development of fuel cell technology can lead the way to energy independence and grow our local and national economies.
As a member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, I have had the opportunity to take part in hearings and investigations to gather the information we need to protect our environment. I was even able to bring one of those hearings home to Hartford. We gathered business leaders and academics at the Mark Twain House to talk about the opportunities that exist in a new green economy.