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25 by '25 Resolution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Madam Speaker, today the House of Representatives is considering an important piece of legislation. House Concurrent Resolution 25 expresses Congress's support for a goal that is an essential component in our attempt to achieve energy independence. That goal is to produce 25 percent of our Nation's energy needs from renewable resources by the year 2025. I support the goal enumerated in this concurrent resolution because it is not a blanket endorsement of any particular renewable. Instead, it is inclusive and accommodates all forms of renewable energy including all forms of biofuel and wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro energy.

* In addition, House Concurrent Resolution 25 does not proclaim renewable resources are the sole solution to this United States energy crisis. Rather, it sets an ambitious, yet achievable goal for the renewable resources sector, while recognizing that in the next 20 years renewable resources will not be the only method necessary to meet our energy needs. The flexible, multifaceted nature of this concurrent resolution is the model for which this Nation should build its future energy policy.

* The United States must look to alternative energy sources to meet our Nation's energy needs. In recent years, oil imports have soared. We now import approximately 60 percent of the oil used in this country. Some of these imports come from countries that have populations hostile to the United States and its citizens. The consequence of our reliance on imports of oil from volatile regions is that a portion of the money we spend to supply our energy needs may actually go to fund terrorist groups that wish to do us harm. Supplanting foreign oil imports with home-grown renewable energy not only keeps economic activity in the United States, but is a vital component of national security.

* As I previously stated, the 25 x '25 vision is an inclusive goal that strives to be responsible in its mission. The resolution does not endorse actions that will skew the marketplace. It calls for solutions that are ``practical'' and ``cost effective.'' The goal is not endorsed to the detriment of existing demands on our renewable resources. House Concurrent Resolution 25 states that in attaining the 25 percent benchmark, the Nation should ``continue to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber.''

* The resolution also advocates for an implementation strategy that is ``practical'' and ``cost effective.'' Congress should heed this advice. It must seek to accomplish the goal of House Concurrent Resolution 25, but it should not adopt policies that are enacted at the expense of one renewable resource over another or at the expense of preexisting domestic energy sources. We must find comprehensive solutions to our energy needs.

* In the United States today we are seeing great progress in expanding the scope of renewable energy. One recent development that I believe will help us accomplish the goal of 25 x '25 is the conception of the cellulosic ethanol industry, an ethanol industry that utilizes non-grain based plant products to produce ethanol. In my home State of Kansas, it was recently announced that construction of one of the Nation's first industrial-sized cellulosic ethanol plants will begin in Hugoton, KS. I am proud that this monumental step in the biofuel industry is occurring in Kansas and I hope that this technology can continue to develop over time.

* Although development of the cellulosic ethanol industry is a great achievement, we must realize that ethanol is not the only component needed to accomplish the 25 x '25 vision. Often overlooked are the contributions of wind and solar energy. To accomplish the goal of 25 x '25, it will take the contributions of all the Nation's citizens. Wind and solar projects may not only need to be welcomed into our communities but in some instances literally into our backyards. Emerging technologies are making small-scale wind and solar power a reality.

* Also, lost in the debate is the need to conserve energy. The 25 x '25 goal is more easily achieved if we control our accelerated quest for more energy. If we can find an economical and technological means of increasing fuel economy in the cars and trucks we manufacture, it will be easier for biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel to capture a greater share of an existing market.

* Finally, while I am an arduous supporter of renewable energy, we must not overlook traditional domestically produced energy sources. Congress must not punish existing and still feasible forms of domestic energy in its attempt to grow the renewable market. Although not directly implicated by the 25 x '25 goal, efficient development of renewable energy markets cannot proceed without existing forms of energy. For example, nitrogen fertilizer is a key component producing the corn from which ethanol is made. Most nitrogen fertilizer utilized in the United States is produced using natural gas.

* The vision embodied by House Concurrent Resolution 25 is a goal that Congress should support and the American people should work to achieve. Utilizing renewable resources in a responsible fashion is good for the environment, good for U.S. workers, and helps move the Nation toward energy independence.

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