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Public Statements

Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentlelady.

Write today's date down, September 22, 2011. The Republicans are now in open warfare against clean energy. Yesterday was an opening salvo, but today is the declaration of war. They've already gutted clean energy research and development budgets by 40 percent for next year. Their budget for the next 3 years promises to cut those investments by 90 percent. They've zeroed out loan guarantee programs for all renewable energy in their budget while leaving intact $25 billion for the nuclear industry. They're prepared to shut down the government rather than rescind one penny of the oil and gas industry's $41 billion in tax subsidies. But clean energy sector gets the hammer.

Yesterday, in a gratuitous assist to Big Oil, Republicans tried to kill the Clean Car Factory Fund in order to pay for natural disaster relief. This is the program that is helping American companies manufacture superefficient vehicles that reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil from OPEC. But, apparently, that bill wasn't radical enough for the Tea Party base. So tonight, they come back and they're launching their full-frontal assault on clean energy. Yesterday, it was just clean cars. Today, it's solar energy, wind energy and all renewables. Tonight, they take out the full assault attack.

But a word of warning. Up to a dozen projects are prepared to receive the green light in the next week. Swooping in and destroying this program now will destroy these projects and destroy the thousands of jobs that will come with them. So before you vote for this bill, check and see if your State is one of the 38 that has received support under this program. Check and see if your State is one of the 12 that could have a new project announced next week. Make sure that the 66,000 people that have jobs today as a result of this program are not from your State. By the way, those 66,000 jobs created through this program are far more than any jobs created through legislation passed out in the first 9 months that the Republicans have controlled the United States House of Representatives.

So our planet is warming and extreme weather is increasing; 100-year floods and droughts are now striking every few years. Hurricanes have caused floods, massive power outages, and deaths. Texas has been on fire after having the hottest summer ever recorded. The President has issued disaster relief declarations in 48 States so far this year. Eighty-three major disasters declared in 2011, the all-time record; 3 more months to go this year. Wake up. Wake up. You can't kill these programs. This is the solution you are killing.

Republicans say, fine, we'll provide emergency relief for those who have been afflicted by nature's wrath in an ever-warming planet, but we won't do it unless we can cut the funds for the programs that promise to be the solution to the problem. That's what they're proposing here tonight.

Does the majority ask if we can save money by cutting the hundreds of billions of dollars we are planning on spending, the Republicans are planning on spending on new nuclear weapons being constructed over the next 10 years when we don't need any more nuclear weapons? No. Can we cut the tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies we pay to Big Oil and King Coal? Of course not. But wind, solar, clean cars, all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, oh, yeah, let's cut that program tonight to fund disaster relief for people in this country suffering from weather, from floods, from hurricanes, and from tornadoes caused by an ever-changing climate.

This bill is an embarrassment. This is not worthy of this Congress. Vote ``no'' on this latest Republican assault plan to kill the clean energy industry in this country on behalf of the Big Oil and Big Coal industries.

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Mr. MARKEY. This is not a debate over compassion. This is not a debate over who cares more about the people in Joplin or the people in Vermont. This is a debate about what the Republicans, what the Tea Party has decided to use as an excuse, as a guise to finish off the revolution that the Democrats have put in place that changes our relationship with where we get our energy from.

Big Oil and Big Coal have fought solar, wind, all-electric vehicles, biomass, geothermal, that entire revolution because they know that it will eat into their profits.

So a disaster occurs that each of us wants to respond to. The Republicans, responding to the oil and coal industry, say this is our chance to kill the revolution that makes it possible to have vehicles go 50, 60, 80, 100 miles a gallon without oil, no oil, that makes it possible for us to have wind and solar generate the electricity that will fuel those vehicles without sending greenhouse gases up into the atmosphere, which is changing our climate and leading to these storms, leading to these floods, leading to these disasters that then needs FEMA, need the relief that we give to these families. So they take the chance, they take the opportunity to kill the very programs which are the solution to these disasters which are being created here in our country and around the world, the agenda of Big Oil and Big Coal.

And the temerity of it all is that they know that the automotive program has already created 39,000 jobs in our country over the last 3 years and that this one cut that they are talking about tonight will kill 10,000 jobs over the next year. In the solar industry--and, by the way, they cut out $100 million in solar and wind guarantees as well.

Right now, ladies and gentlemen, there are 85,000 jobs in the wind industry, almost all of them created in the last 4 years. There are 85,000 jobs in the coal industry. In other words, in the last 5 years, wind now equals the entire coal industry. There are 100,000 jobs in the solar industry, and last year we were a net exporter to China; 100,000 jobs in solar, 85,000 jobs in wind, and it is the future.

The oil industry laid off 20,000 employees over the last 3 years. Let us talk here about future, about young people, about this planet, about backing out the oil from OPEC so we can tell them we don't need their oil any more than we need their sand. That's what this debate is about tonight.

And under the guise, with these crocodile tears of how much they care about the victims, as though it's any greater on our side, they are using it as the guise to kill these programs. That's what it's all about tonight. That's why we're angry. That's what this is all about.

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Mr. MARKEY. They could have taken this money out of the $41 million of gas breaks for the oil and gas industry, but, no, they take it out of solar, they take it out of wind.

And by the way, wind and solar, with the same amount of money, creates five times more jobs than an investment in fossil fuels does. So they keep the money in for the programs that create three to five times less jobs than the program they are knee-capping here this evening. That's what this vote is all about.

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Mr. MARKEY. So they will not receive a nickel under this program. The oil and gas industry will receive that money as they tip the people of our country upside down and shake the money out of their pockets.

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