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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6049, Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding.

I was surprised, Mr. Speaker, that the Rules Committee chose to reject an amendment that I offered that was an attempt to bring some clarity and light to this debate, particularly as it relates to energy needs.

I represent a district, Mr. Speaker, in the Chicago area which the Chicago Tribune this week has reported has the highest gas prices in the Nation. So in an attempt to try to take that on, I offered an amendment that I thought was a very straightforward thing, not meant to be controversial, not meant to be overly partisan, just a good commonsense idea that unfortunately the majority on the Rules Committee rejected. That was a simple thing, and that would create a tax credit, Mr. Speaker, a tax credit for biofuel vehicles.

Right now we have got a tax credit for alternative fuel vehicles, and that is great. But you have got a lot of municipalities in my district that are really suffering under the weight of these high gas prices, and they are looking for alternatives and a biofuel vehicle is just one of those things. So, in other words, oftentimes these vehicles can start up using gasoline, and then it can be transferred and powered on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied propane, or hydrogen, all things that if municipalities are using will take pressure off gas prices.

Now think about it. This is an opportunity for Congress to do something to help to create a market for other vehicles. Right now sometimes the private marketplace isn't able to come up as quickly as we want it, so we have got local units of government that are saying we want to use these types of vehicles; and this Rules Committee, Mr. Speaker, has denied the tax credit that would empower that kind of thing. It makes no sense to me. I am just deeply disappointed that folks on the Rules Committee who are in the majority just rejected this idea. It is not a partisan idea. It is what is called a good idea that we need to move forward.

In 1968, Richard Nixon campaigned for the Presidency claiming he had a secret plan to end the war. He went all over the country and said: I have got a secret plan to end the war. If you elect me President of the United States, my secret plan to end the war will win it all and will bring it all home.

Well, we all know there was no secret plan. His Secretary of Defense said so, everyone has declared so, and history shows it. But there are eerie similarities between that declaration of Richard Nixon in 1968 and the words of now Speaker Pelosi when she was the minority leader: She had a plan to bring gas prices down.

Well, if what the majority is doing on the Rules Committee is rejecting commonsense ideas like tax credits for biofuel vehicles that help suburban communities in my district, I am very interested for when this secret plan that the Speaker has alluded to is going to be coming forward. I don't think there is a secret plan, Mr. Speaker.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Illinois has expired.

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I yield the gentleman an additional 1 minute.

Mr. ROSKAM. I think the Speaker in the last campaign was using the type of campaign rhetoric that is now unfortunately coming home to roost.

I am deeply disappointed that the Rules Committee didn't see fit to let a commonsense idea that helps the suburban municipalities that I represent cope with outrageous gas prices.

I thank the gentleman for yielding.


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