SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 97--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT IT IS THE GOAL OF THE UNITED STATES THAT, NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 1, 2025, THE AGRICULTURAL, FORESTRY, AND WORKING LAND OF THE UNITED STATES SHOULD PROVIDE FROM RENEWABLE RESOURCES NOT LESS THAN 25 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMED IN THE UNITED STATES AND CONTINUE TO PRODUCE SAFE, ABUNDANT, AND AFFORDABLE FOOD, FEED, AND FIBER
Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself, Mr. SALAZAR, Mr. LUGAR, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. OBAMA, Mr. HAGEL, Mr. DORGAN, Mr. COLEMAN, Mr. KERRY, Mr. TALENT, Mr. NELSON of Nebraska, Mr. THUNE, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. KOHL, and Mr. JOHNSON) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry:
Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a concurrent resolution which expresses the goal of the United States to provide 25 percent of the Nation's energy needs from renewable resources by 2025. I am pleased to be joined in this effort by Senators SALAZAR, LUGAR, HARKIN, DEWINE and OBAMA.
The goal of this 25 by 25 resolution is quite simple: to replace 25 percent of our total energy needs with renewable resources like wind, hydropower, solar, geothermal, biomass and biofuels by 2025. This is a bold goal, but given our current energy situation in the U.S., it is a necessary goal.
In the past few years, we have seen the price of crude oil skyrocket from $25 a barrel to nearly $75 a barrel. This has caused prices at the pump to escalate beyond $3 a gallon. Natural gas, used for electricity generation and industrial uses, has hovered above $6 per million BTU's, while hitting over $15 following the devastating hurricanes along the gulf coast.
The impact of these increased prices is being felt around the country by working families, farmers, businesses and industries. The increased cost for energy at the pump, in home heating and for industrial uses has the potential to jeopardize our economic security and vitality.
And, because we are dependent upon foreign countries for over 60 percent of our crude oil, our dependence is a threat to our national security. President Bush heightened the awareness of the problem by stating in his 2006 State of the Union Address that we are addicted to foreign oil. He highlighted as his goal to reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East by 75 percent by 2025.
Our effort with this concurrent resolution is to signal to America's farmers, ranchers and forestry industry, that we believe they have the ability and resources to generate 25 percent of our energy needs. An that it is in our economic and national security interest to do so.
There are many inherent virtues in producing our own domestic energy from renewable resources. It is good for our environment. It is good for our national and economic security. It will provide an economic boost for our rural economies. And perhaps most importantly, it will ensure a stable, secure, domestic supply of affordable energy.
Already, our farmers and ranchers are working hard to use their resources to produce electricity from wind, biomass and other agricultural wastes. In addition, corn, soybeans and other crops are being used to produce transportation fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. It is evident that rural America has the drive to achieve this goal.
While this concurrent resolution states our renewable energy goal, it does not prescribe a way to achieve the goal. Rather, it recognizes the benefit of implementing supportive policies and incentives to stimulate the development and use of renewable energy. It also identifies the benefits of technological improvements to the cost and market appeal of renewable energy. The supporters of this goal commit to support sensible policies and proper incentives to work toward the goal.
I am hopeful that my colleagues will recognize the importance and timeliness of this effort, and will consider supporting us in this goal to produce 25 percent of our energy needs from renewable resources by 2025.
There being no objection, the text of the concurrent resolution was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
S. Con. Res. 97
Whereas the United States has a quantity of renewable energy resources that is sufficient to supply a significant portion of the energy needs of the United States;
Whereas the agricultural, forestry, and working land of the United States can help ensure a sustainable domestic energy system;
Whereas accelerated development and use of renewable energy technologies provide numerous benefits to the United States, including improved national security, improved balance of payments, healthier rural economies, improved environmental quality, and abundant, reliable, and affordable energy for all citizens of the United States;
Whereas the production of transportation fuels from renewable energy would help the United States meet rapidly growing domestic and global energy demands, reduce the dependence of the United States on energy imported from volatile regions of the world that are politically unstable, stabilize the cost and availability of energy, and safeguard the economy and security of the United States;
Whereas increased energy production from domestic renewable resources would attract substantial new investments in energy infrastructure, create economic growth, develop new jobs for the citizens of the United States, and increase the income for farm, ranch, and forestry jobs in the rural regions of the United States;
Whereas increased use of renewable energy is practical and can be cost effective with the implementation of supportive policies and proper incentives to stimulate markets and infrastructure; and
Whereas public policies aimed at enhancing renewable energy production and accelerating technological improvements will further reduce energy costs over time and increase market demand: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that it is the goal of the United States that, not later than January 1, 2025, the agricultural, forestry, and working land of the United States should provide from renewable resources not less than 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States and continue to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber.