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Report on Resolution Providing for Consideration of HR 6, Clean Energy Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC


* Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007. We must be mindful in the creation of long-term energy alternatives for the future of our nation, as the acronym CLEAN denotes. I am honored to be among my many esteemed colleagues as an original cosponsor of this legislation.

* At this juncture, we must move beyond the obvious motivations for responsible energy policies. As my colleagues have acknowledged, scarcity of resources, national security, greenhouse gas emissions, and the impact of oil exploration top the list of concerns addressed by this legislation. However, we must also acknowledge the true impact of these challenges on our nation's most vulnerable populations. In this sense, progressive energy policy is inextricably linked with the pursuit of true environmental justice.

* Madam Speaker, my support for this legislation is founded in a profound desire to confront the diminishing life changes and debilitating health conditions attributed to polluting energy sources. Asthma has significantly increased over the past few decades, especially among African American populations. In 2004, 17 percent of African Americans under the age of 18 lived with asthma compared to only 11 percent of their white counterparts. On behalf of our children, we must understand the root cause of this disparity and take action to pursue alternative sources of energy for posterity.

* Furthermore, I support the thrust of this legislation because it discourages extraction from offshore oil and natural gas reserves. I stand with many of my constituents in acknowledging that the pursuit of these resources has the potential to cause life-threatening accidents and irreversible environmental damage to our Outer Continental Shelf. Rescinding incentives for this form of oil and natural gas production set forth in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act will undoubtedly protect our fragile marine ecosystems and stimulate the quest for alternative energy sources.

* Madam Speaker, complemented by other pieces of legislation, the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 will bring accountability to the industries responsible for many environmental injustices and shift our nation away from a defunct paradigm of reliance on irresponsible energy sources. A new age for energy use is upon us.

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