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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 910, Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. HIRONO. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Colorado for yielding me this time.

I rise in opposition to this rule and to the underlying legislation, H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act. In spite of the title of this bill, it has absolutely nothing to do with limiting taxes on energy or taxes from the get-go. This bill should be called the Dirty Air Act because it turns back the clock by erasing years of advances that we have made in fighting air pollution and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

This bill ignores the clear-cut scientific evidence: carbon pollution is endangering our health and the environment and that the need for urgent action to address climate change is indisputable.

This bill prevents the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, from acting under the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions unequivocally linked to climate change. Under this bill, EPA will be prohibited from enforcing common sense, and I want to repeat that word, commonsense protections against carbon dioxide pollution and other greenhouse gases.

Since its enactment in 1970, the health benefits of the Clean Air Act have far outweighed industry's compliance costs. Toxic and health-threatening air pollutants have been reduced by 60 percent, and the world did not come to an end for corporations. In fact, during this time the economy grew by 200 percent.

This legislation guts the Clean Air Act pollution standards and repeals EPA's authority to limit health-threatening pollution. And for what? For what, to protect the profits of the big polluters; and in so doing, this bill repeals important safeguards that are needed to create American clean energy jobs, reduce energy costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and increase our economic competitiveness.

We cannot pass this Republican majority's anti-science, anti-innovation bill. And let's not forget one of their top goals: continuing multi-billion dollar tax breaks for the oil and gas solution.

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Ms. HIRONO. In my book, clean air and the health of the American people trump profits for polluters every time. I urge my colleagues to vote against this rule and against this bill.

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