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Public Statements

Electricity Security and Affordability Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BROWNLEY of California. Mr. Speaker, this is the final amendment to H.R. 3826, which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. If adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage, as amended.

My amendment is a simple, straightforward improvement that I believe both sides of the aisle can agree is absolutely necessary, and would be overwhelmingly supported by the American people.

If my amendment passes, it will ensure that the American people and American businesses throughout our country will be protected from avoidable energy price increases.

Specifically, my amendment ensures that nothing in this act would limit the ability of regulators to issue rules that save consumers money on their electricity bills, including rules that allow for or encourage energy efficiency, demand response, and other approaches to lower the cost of electricity for consumers.

Making our homes and businesses more energy-efficient will save Americans trillions of dollars and, simultaneously, fight climate change by reducing our country's carbon footprint.

Energy efficiency standards have already saved Americans $40 billion, and we are on track to save $1.7 trillion in energy costs by 2035. Proven Federal programs, like Energy Star, boost energy efficiency and have conserved energy by helping consumers and businesses find energy-efficient appliances and products.

In fact, commercial buildings which used Energy Star technology show an average of 7 percent energy savings. Progress in energy efficiency is a win/win that is good for our pocketbooks and good for our environment. We can do more.

If just 1 in 10 households used current technology to upgrade their home heating systems, we could keep 17 billion pounds of pollution out of our air.

A vote for my amendment is a vote to ensure that we keep every tool available to conserve energy and help consumers avoid needless energy costs.

Mr. Speaker, price increases in the energy sector are a very real and very serious problem. It hurts working families struggling to make ends meet. It hurts homeowners who struggle every month to pay their mortgage and utility bills, including many of my hardworking families in Ventura County.

It hurts small and large businesses, driving up the price of doing business and impacting their ability to invest in new equipment and hire new workers.

It hurts our military and impacts military readiness, including Naval Base Ventura County, costing more to keep the lights on and operate critical facilities at Point Mugu and Port Hueneme.

It hurts our seniors who live on fixed incomes and cannot afford an increase in their utility bills.

It hurts the specialty crop growers in Ventura County, our lemon, strawberry, avocado, and lettuce growers, as well as our cut flower producers, whose bottom line is so closely tied to the price of energy.

It also hurts our overall national economy and threatens to slow job creation and the recovery of our very fragile economy.

This is why it is so important that we allow regulators, like the EPA, to move forward with rules that can save consumers money on their electricity bills, encourage energy efficiency, and lower the cost of electricity for all of our consumers.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the motion to recommit to ensure a better and cleaner America for our children, our grandchildren, and many, many more generations to come.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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