There's no question that folks in Georgia are worried about energy issues, from rising power bills, to reducing greenhouse gasses, to lessening America's dependence on foreign oil. That's why I've hosted Energy Expos in Augusta, Savannah, and Statesboro and had town hall meetings in every county in the 12th District, so I have time to listen to the folks I represent.
On June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as Cap and Trade or Waxman-Markey. While I believe that global climate change is a huge concern, and we need to do everything we can to create new sources of energy that are clean, cheap, and abundant, I wasn't able to support this legislation for a couple of reasons.
First of all, H.R. 2454 relies on the assumption that the best way to create clean energy is to tax dirty energy. This is difficult for states like Georgia, where there isn't an abundance of wind or solar power. H.R. 2454 would have raised energy bills for Georgia families, simply by virtue of where we live. This is unfair, especially while folks are struggling to make ends meet in this difficult economy.
In order to move our country toward energy independence, I believe that we need significant and sustained investment in research and development, which is something that H.R. 2454 did not provide for.
Here's what I do support with regard to energy policy:
* A comprehensive approach for an energy-independent America, including, but not limited to the expansion of offshore drilling, investment in research and development for clean energy and lower-emission automobiles, and the expansion of nuclear power.
* Using Georgia's wood resources for biofuels for electric power generation and for conversion to cellulosic ethanol.
* Creation of new green jobs through the Recovery Act.
* Funding for new energy efficient public housing through the Recovery Act
* New industrial energy efficiency projects provided through the Recovery Act
* Americans taking steps to reduce their own carbon footprint, including using energy-efficient light bulbs, weatherizing their homes, or using public transportation
The most important thing for Georgia families is that we have sensible legislation that takes care of the environment, lessens our dependence on foreign oil, but does so in a responsible way that ensures Georgians' safety and financial stability. This is what I'll continue to fight for.