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Public Statements

Congressional Budget For The United States Government For Fiscal Year 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. STABENOW. Madam President, before talking about a very important and serious amendment I will be offering, I wish to take a point of personal privilege to speak about my alma mater, Michigan State University, that is in the final four. I have to say for the record, I knew they would get there. The final four is in Detroit. We are thrilled at Ford Field, a state-of-the-art facility. They play on Saturday night, and I am saying ``go State'' right now. For all those listening who are Michigan State fans, let's root them on because it is a point of terrific pride for Michigan State University, after a hard-fought year with, I think, the best coach in the league, Tom Izzo, who is now going to represent us in the final four. I appreciate that.


Madam President, I have an amendment I will be offering that has been filed, amendment No. 879. I will be offering it tomorrow. I wish to read it briefly because I think it is important to read what this is. This is about climate change and it is about being for something and not just against something, and we have had a lot of amendments doing that.

The amendment says we will decrease greenhouse gas emissions with a policy that will invest in energy technologies, reduce greenhouse gases, create new jobs, strengthen the manufacturing competitiveness of the United States, diversify the domestic clean energy supply, protect consumers and regions, and include opportunities for agriculture and forestry.

This is the text of the amendment. As I indicated before, my amendment is about what we should be for. We have seen a number of amendments on the floor saying what we shouldn't do and what we can't do. This is about what we can do and what we should do.

This budget is about investing in America's future. Our policy on climate change must do the same thing. As will the budget, if it is done right--and I believe we can do this right--climate change legislation will create new jobs in the great State of Michigan, in the great State of New Hampshire, and all across this country and revolutionize and revitalize our economy if this is done right.

Coming from a Midwestern State where economic troubles are not new--in fact, we now have 12 percent unemployment. I could spend a lot of time, as I have in the past on this floor, talking about what is happening to our families. I understand the risks associated with poorly designed climate policy, but I also understand that our economy--Michigan's economy, the U.S. economy--cannot go forward with the same old policies, dependent on foreign oil and pollution, that harms both our health and our economic interests. Climate change legislation, if designed right, will be a significant opportunity for new jobs and an economic transformation for our country.

Climate change can and must look out for working families and businesses, whether it be a farmer, a manufacturer or a cleantech engineer. That is why I propose this amendment, so the budget instructs the future of climate policy to be well balanced, so it creates new jobs, strengthens manufacturing, and breaks America of our dangerous addiction to foreign oil.

We can no longer rely on the same old technologies and the same old fuels. With new energy solutions come new jobs and new industries. America has always led the world in innovation and invention, and we can do it again with green energy. With or without a climate policy, energy companies, industries, and entrepreneurs must make investments for the future. This amendment will ensure that a cap-and-trade policy will provide direction for future investments. This amendment will direct us toward a smart climate policy that will protect and strengthen manufacturing.

First, we can ensure a level playing field in the world economy by bringing other countries into an international agreement and ensuring that jobs remain in the United States by preventing rising energy costs from being a factor. Second, new manufacturing opportunities will arise. For example, to meet the needs of new clean energy production, new technologies must be produced. The massive scale of this need will create new markets for American manufacturers.

Recent history has shown what happens when we rely primarily on foreign sources of energy. We subject ourselves to less than friendly international governments that can leverage unstable supplies and higher prices against the people we represent. This amendment will take us steps further to reducing our dangerous addiction to foreign oil.

Furthermore, our domestic energy needs will increase over time, and all sources of clean energy should be added to our portfolio. Good investing, wise investing always requires diversification, so we must bring new clean sources of energy into the mix.

This is a national and international problem, and we have to solve this together. Our President now has been spending time with global leaders talking about issues we know we need to be working together on. As he is reaching out to them, we must do that as well. But we know that through this amendment, we will ensure that all regions contribute equitably and help each other as America transitions to a clean energy future.

A successful climate policy also has to include all stakeholders. Agriculture and forestry can make significant contributions to greenhouse gas reductions--as much as 20 percent--with the right incentives. This amendment will provide clear and certain opportunities for landowners as to how they can achieve emission reductions and benefit from doing so.

Overall, this amendment is the road map, I believe, to a

reasonable, balanced climate policy. With policies that meet these objectives, we can ensure the American public that greater economic opportunity lies ahead. We can do this while meeting the ambitious emission reduction targets set by President Obama.

Instead of arguing about what we can't do, I urge the Senate to embrace what we can do and what we must do to create jobs for the future, to get us off our dependence on foreign oil, and to improve our environment. This is about the future of the country. I ask my colleagues to support this amendment that gives us a road map on how to get there.

Thank you very much.


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