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Hearings of House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality: The Energy Policy Act of 2005

Location: Washington, DC


February 10, 2005


Mr. Walden. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your having this hearing today. I think it is extraordinarily important that we move forward on an energy bill.

This country needs an energy policy. As one of the vice chairs of the Renewable Energy Caucus in the Congress, the bipartisan organization, I am especially enthused about what we need to do to add to our renewable portfolio.

In my district, we are seeing the construction of some 400 megawatts of wind energy, which works well, as you shape the power curve with hydro, which is also one of America's most renewable energy sources, and in the Northwest, is certainly our bread and butter power. This legislation helps in those regards, as well as expanding efforts on solar and geothermal research and ,I am hopeful, biomass as well, to use the waste that comes out of forests, so we try to make them more healthy, to create a renewable market. And so that is certainly important, and while I realize we can't conserve our way out of the energy crisis we face, nor can we drill our way out of it, we have to have a balanced energy program for this country.

I am tired of paying $2 gas or $2.20 gas or whatever it is to fill my car, and I see what is happening, and the pressures on natural gas, and it is a supply issue, and I don't want to be held hostage for my energy and our country's energy to countries that aren't always exactly friendly toward us, and yet can pull our chain and our economy and cause severe problems.

We have had a lot of debates in this committee over the last 3 years that I have been on the panel, or 4 years, I guess, on energy policy. We need a comprehensive energy program. I commend the administration for the work they have done, and while I have some disagreements with them at the present time over power marketing authorities and some issues related to transmission and all, we need to move forward.

So, Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing, and I look forward to working with you on the issues that are of unique importance to the Northwest, as well as those that are critical to our country's future.


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