Congressman Rothman Votes in Favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act
Today, Congressman Steve Rothman (D - NJ) voted in favor of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The legislation passed the U.S. House 219 to 212. The Act will help revitalize our economy by creating new jobs in clean energy technology fields, increasing our national security by decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, preserving our environment by reducing the pollution that causes global warming, protecting consumers from energy price increases and helping industry move to clean energy technologies.
"Investing in clean energy will put America's economy on a path that will create jobs, strengthen our energy security and promote a healthier environment," said Rothman. "In addition, this bill will protect consumers by investing in cost-saving energy technology and preventing energy price spikes."
Over the last ten years, New Jersey's investment in clean energy has taken off, moving from virtually zero solar installations to over 4,000 in just over five years, with over 200 solar companies established in New Jersey. With large-scale projects at Rutgers University, the Atlantic City Convention Center and the Hackensack Meadowlands, as well as aggressive incentives supporting renewable energy for residential customers, New Jersey is poised to take full advantage of the economic opportunities in this new, clean energy economy.
A report by the Renewable Energy Policy Project shows that New Jersey ranks in the top ten states in the country for potential manufacturing jobs and investment over the next decade by adopting standards similar to those found in the new energy bill. For New Jersey, that would mean over 1,300 new firms and over 17,000 new jobs related solely to new manufacturing.
"During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we simply cannot afford to continue the status quo," said Rothman. "This legislation is the first step towards breaking free of our dependence on foreign oil, protecting American families from energy price increases and transitioning to a clean, green-energy economy."
The American Clean Energy and Security Act will:
Create Jobs: The Act will generate private sector investment in clean energy to create new jobs that can't be shipped overseas and make America the global leader in clean energy technology. A report by the University of Massachusetts indicates that the expansion in clean-energy investments triggered by the Recovery Act and this Act today will generate roughly $150 billion per year in new clean-energy activity. This would generate a net increase of about 1.7 million jobs.
Make Us More Energy Independent: The Act will cut the use of oil and petroleum products by two million barrels a day in 2030 - as much oil as we currently import from the Persian Gulf. It will invest in new clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, including energy efficiency and renewable energy ($90 billion in new investments by 2025), carbon capture and sequestration ($60 billion), electric and other advanced technology vehicles ($20 billion), and basic scientific research and development ($20 billion).
Reduce Pollution: The Act reduces dangerous pollution by limiting emissions from electric utilities, oil refineries and other major sources. These limits are ambitious, achievable and will be fairly enforced. It will reduce carbon emissions from major U.S. sources by 17% by 2020 and over 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. Complementary measures in the legislation, such as investments in preventing tropical deforestation, will achieve significant additional reductions in carbon emissions.
Protect Consumers: This Act will invest in cost-saving energy technology to save consumers money. It will also protect consumers with protections from energy price spikes, energy tax credits and cost-saving technology. It will protect consumers from energy price increases. According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, the reductions in carbon pollution required by the legislation will cost American families less than a postage stamp per day. Congressional Budget Office calculates that the legislation will cost the average household less than 50 cents per day.
Help Industry Transition: The Act protects jobs now, and helps energy-intensive industries like the steel, iron and paper industries transition to a cleaner, profitable future. It will require electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020.