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Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 2419, Food and Energy Security Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC

MOTION TO INSTRUCT CONFEREES ON H.R. 2419, FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - May 08, 2008)


Mr. HALL of New York. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman and I thank my friend from across the aisle for his comments on conservation and the sharing of the same root between conservatism and conservation. Perhaps he would be willing to tell our Vice President who said a few years ago that conservation may be a personal virtue, but it is no way to build a national energy policy, that he is wrong. I am pleased to hear Members of this body on both sides of the aisle voicing that opinion, that conservation efficiency in effect has to be part of our national energy policy.

I also was happy to hear his comments on electric cars. In Israel, which I visited last August, and which I would like to wish a happy 60th birthday to, Israel is leading the way on not just solar energy in which they are collaborating with a California company on a huge solar photovoltaic project which will provide today, this is not some distant time in the future, today will provide enough electricity for 400,000 homes. Solel, Inc., is the Israeli company and Pacific Gas and Electric is the partner here in the United States. Not only are they a leader in photovoltaic solar electric power, but they are pioneering in Israel, as we could be in this country, electric cars that travel from one station to another and instead of charging the battery, they just switch it. They are working on a battery that will be interchangeable between all cars. So one can drive up to the gas station which will now be an electric station or whatever fuel one moves toward, remove the old battery that is run down, immediately get a new one installed and drive away in a matter of minutes rather than waiting for it to be charged up.

[Time: 17:45]

All these options are available, and I'm here to say they're available today.

I would also dispute, however, the assertion that nuclear power is non-emitting, that nuclear power is clean. First of all, nuclear power does give off greenhouse gas emissions because, in the process of mining and milling and transporting nuclear fuel, there are fossil fuels burned.

There are, in my very district, in fact, strontium, nydium, tritium, among other cancer-causing radioactive particles being released into the groundwater and even under normal operations, into the air.

And lastly, of course, the spent fuel has to be transported, again using fossil fuels, to a repository, which may be Yucca Mountain whenever that happens to be opened.

In the meanwhile, every nuclear plant and every nuclear shipment is a potential terrorist target. We know that Mohammad Atta wrote, for instance, in the papers that were found after 9/11, about canvassing New York City, flying on commercial airliners, and that he took notes about a nuclear plant that he flew over as a potential target that we believe to be Indian Point.

[Page: H3316]

So I would remind those on both sides of the aisle that our diplomatic stance around the world has been one of trying to stop other countries from taking a ``peaceful nuclear program and turning it into a military nuclear program.'' It's a very gray area and a blurry line once one learns how to enrich fuel. It's only a matter of how far one enriches that fuel.

So there are some things that we agree about. I totally agree that we need a moon shot technology revolution. We need to put all the resources of this country that we can behind this, and that American ingenuity can solve these problems.

But speaking as one who's burning 20 percent biodiesel in my home heating oil, who's getting 1,500 kilowatt hours a month from wind power, who's driving an American-made hybrid today that gets 33 miles per gallon, and an SUV with 4-wheel drive, not a little tin can, but actually a pretty sizeable vehicle, I think these technologies are available if they're given the proper incentives, tax breaks and subsidies today, and if we lead the way in government with preferential purchasing and the decision-making that we make as the powerful government that we are.

So I'm happy to be a part of this exciting time in our energy history.


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