Rep. George Miller released the following statement regarding the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act that will be voted on in Congress next week. Miller is Chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee and the former Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. He is an original co-sponsor and co-author of the bill, along with Rep. Nick Rahall and Rep. Gene Green.
"House Democrats have been working for comprehensive energy policy ever since we took control of Congress in January of last year. Next week, we'll vote on that energy policy.
"The goal of our bill is to lower gas prices and energy bills for families, drivers, and businesses, create jobs, protect taxpayers, and invest in a clean and independent energy future. That is a significant change in the energy policy that brought us $4 a gallon gasoline.
"Our bill will harness American energy and American ingenuity for a more secure, sustainable, and productive future. Our plan works for the economy, our energy independence, and America's families."
"We will expand renewable energy by investing in wind power, solar and other clean energy sources. This is incredibly important for our economic and environmental future. We'll expand domestic supply of American energy sources inside our borders.
"Under our bill, the federal government would allow additional offshore drilling in a responsible and safe manner in waters that are 100 miles or further from our coastlines. States will have the right to say yes or no' to responsible offshore drilling in waters between 50 miles and 100 miles from their coastlines. The new legislation would protect states' coastlines out to 50 miles, and would permanently protect sensitive areas such as national marine monuments and sanctuaries.
"In return for this new drilling opportunity, we will ensure that taxpayers get a fair return from the oil companies. Up until now, oil companies have gotten a sweetheart deal, costing taxpayers billions of dollars in lost revenues that they have been rightfully owed. President Bush and the Republican Congress have guaranteed oil companies these unneeded subsidies and unjustified tax breaks even while the price at the pump has soared and energy industry profits have set new records.
"Our bill would bring the oil companies' sweetheart deal to an end.
"The American people want an energy plan that works for them, that speaks to their future, and that lowers the cost of energy. We will vote on just that plan next week with our comprehensive energy plan. I urge all of my colleagues to vote for it and I urge President Bush to sign it into law. "
The Comprehensive American Energy Security & Consumer Protection Act will invest in renewable energies including wind, solar, natural gas and biofuels; expand our domestic energy sources, including new domestic drilling; invest in conservation and efficiency; and end unjustified subsidies to oil companies, requiring them to pay what they owe to American taxpayers.
This is the latest of a series of major energy packages considered by the Democratic 110th Congress. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the most significant energy legislation in a generation, was signed into law in December 2007. That law included the first congressional increase in vehicle fuel efficiency standards in more than three decades, improved energy efficiency, promoted the use of renewable energy, and increased investment in transportation alternatives.
Since the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Democratic Congress has repeatedly voted to increase the use of renewable energy, increase efficiency and conservation, end speculation, restore fair payments from oil companies, and on other measures to increase supply and transition the country to a cleaner energy future.