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Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mrs. BIGGERT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the false choice being offered to America on the House floor today.

Despite months of pleas from the American people, the Democrat leadership of this House is still trying to dodge the issue of real energy reform.

We can't expect this country to break its addiction to foreign oil if we continue to address only half the problem. But that's exactly what this bill does. It includes numerous provisions aimed at boosting conservation. I support them. In fact, I'm the lead Republican cosponsor on a bill that closely mirrors a section of this legislation dealing with clean buildings. I'm also a strong supporter of the development and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies like hydrogen, cellulosic ethanol, geothermal, solar and wind. But to call this bill we're considering today a comprehensive energy solution is just plain wrong.

Some on the other side of the aisle would have us believe that this bill will open new areas of the Outer Continental Shelf to offshore exploration. Instead, it discourages States from allowing drilling off their shores. By not allowing States to share in the royalties from offshore oil and natural gas exploration, we virtually guarantee that no State would permit production off its coast.

In addition, it includes no new refinery capacity, no clean coal, and zero nuclear energy. In my home State of Illinois, we rely on nuclear power for 50 percent of our energy needs. It's safe, carbon-free, and could provide sustainable domestic energy for decades to come. Scientists at our national labs have developed new reprocessing technologies that will allow us to reburn spent nuclear fuel, vastly reducing the toxicity and the volume of waste. With this new process, we can solve the waste problem.

Does anything in this bill take advantage of the advances we have made in nuclear power? No. Instead, the bill includes a renewable energy mandate that will raise energy costs for consumers who live in States like Illinois that rely heavily on clean nuclear power.

Mr. Speaker, we can do better. Let's work together on the all-of-the-above energy package that embraces long-term energy solutions while also boosting production and conservation to provide near-term relief at the pump.


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