25 By 25 Resolution

Floor Speech

By:  Thomas Holden
Date: Oct. 15, 2007
Location: Washington, DC

25 BY 25 RESOLUTION -- (House of Representatives - October 15, 2007)


Mr. HOLDEN. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding me time and thank him for his leadership and that of Mr. Goodlatte, leadership in his role as ranking member and former chairman of the committee, on this very important issue.

Madam Speaker, we have an energy crisis in this country, and we need to take advantage of our own natural resources. This piece of legislation before us today is going to address the resources under our jurisdiction as members of the Ag Committee, but I would be negligent as a proud son of the coal regions of Pennsylvania, the anthracite coal fields, if I didn't mention that I hope that future pieces of legislation that come before this body also address the opportunity of coal-to-liquid, how we need to take advantage of the vast resources that we have in coal in this country.

I would say to those who criticize the environmental aspects of coal-to-liquid to just come to my home in St. Clair, Pennsylvania, in Schuykill County and look at 200-to 300-foot comb banks, waste coal, that can be cleaned up and made into liquid fuel. So I hope in future proceedings before this House we're able to address that.

But I stand here proudly as a member of the Ag Committee and chairman of the Energy Subcommittee, in cooperation with my chairman and ranking member, to support this legislation.

As was mentioned by the chairman and the ranking member, we have an abundance of agriculture resources that we need to take advantage of in this country; and if we do not, we will remain to be dependent on the smooth, continuous flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf and Mexico and Venezuela. We have an opportunity to do something beginning today.

As we were writing the 2007 Ag bill, members of my subcommittee, we traveled to Penn State, to NC State, to the USDA labs and looked at the research that is being done on cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel; and when you look at the possibilities of the entire country, not one region excluding another, having the ability to participate in a move towards energy independence, when we look at cellulosic ethanol or biodiesel in the feedstocks that are so abundant, it's absolutely imperative that we take advantage of those and pass this legislation today.

As the ranking member mentioned, in the energy title we have in excess of a $2 billion loan guarantee program to help this infant industry take hold and allow the people on Wall Street, the investors, the private sector to be partners with the government as we move this forward.

So, Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this legislation and urge its adoption.


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