Hare Supports Bill that Invests in Clean Energy, Creates Green Jobs, and Combats Global Warming
Congressman Phil Hare today voted for legislation that invests in clean, Midwestern renewable energy, creates millions of green jobs that cannot be outsourced, makes America more energy independent, and aggressively combats global climate change.
The House passed the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act, a comprehensive energy bill aimed at aggressively combating climate change and improving our nation's economy. The bill will require utilities to meet 20 percent of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources by 2020 and will mandate new energy-saving standards for buildings and appliances. Furthermore, the ACES Act will reduce carbon emissions from major U.S. sources 17 percent by 2020 and over 80 percent by 2050 through a $190 billion investment in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency.
"Although this bill is far from perfect, action on global climate change is long overdue," Hare said. "By investing in clean energy and mandating the reduction of carbon emissions we can address three critical challenges: fighting climate change, becoming more energy independent, and providing a much needed spark to our economy."
The legislation takes significant steps to protect consumers from energy price increases. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, for the average household in the 17th District, costs from the ACES legislation will be only $141 annually, or 39 cents per day. According to the same CBO analysis, by investing in clean and renewable energy sources, the ACES bill will create millions of new American jobs an estimated 70,000 jobs statewide or approximately 3,700 in the 17th District.
The bill includes critical provisions, strongly advocated by Hare, to protect rural energy producers. Rural electric cooperatives receive a portion of the total free emission allowances to keep electric prices low for ratepayers, $60 billion is invested in carbon capture and sequestration to ensure a smooth transition for the coal industry, and the bill establishes a self-sustaining Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) within the Department of Energy to promote the domestic development and deployment of clean energy technologies, including nuclear power
"My district relies on coal, nuclear, and biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol and biodiesel, for its energy needs," Hare said. "I am pleased that this bill addresses a majority of these concerns, while still meeting the goal of protecting our environment and improving public health."
Hare also voted for an amendment that incorporates provisions critical to Illinois agriculture. It establishes an agricultural offset program to be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides for a list of eligible agricultural offsets, broadens the definition of renewable biomass, and corrects the misuse of indirect land use calculations in evaluating biofuels. Under the 2007 Energy bill, the EPA penalized biofuels producers for emissions due to a controversial formula that calculated international indirect land use. These penalties would be removed under the ACES Act.
Hare submitted three amendments to the ACES Act. The first was included in the legislation. The second two were not made in order by the House Rules Committee. The amendments are as follows:
Prohibit for-profit entities from using free emission allowances to close down U.S. based operations and relocate overseas (included in legislation).
Acknowledge and give credit to businesses that have significantly reduced their carbon footprints prior to the passage of the bill (not made in order).
Ensure the EPA prioritizes its regulating authority on greenhouse gases towards larger, non-road vehicles with cost-effective emissions solutions (not made in order).