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Public Statements

American Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this bill.

I agree with one thing the gentleman from Massachusetts had to say and, that is, this bill has very important consequences, but those consequences are devastating for the future of the economy of this country, and it's in pursuit of the fantasy of thinking that this legislation will cause us to be able to turn down the thermostat of the world by reducing CO2 gas emissions when China and India and other nations are pumping more and more CO2 gas into the atmosphere all the time.

We would be far better served with legislation that devotes itself to developing new technologies before we slam the door on our traditional sources of energy like coal and oil and natural gas and nuclear power, the most CO2-free emission that we have; and this bill does nothing to promote it.

It stifles the ability of the people of this country to have the kind of competitiveness they need in the world to be able to get inexpensive sources of energy. So I strongly oppose this legislation.

You know, we, Republicans and Democrats, offered over 200 amendments to try to improve this bill. They made in order one. In shutting down this democratic process, the Speaker of the House has taken away the voice of the American people. The simple truth behind this legislation is it raises taxes, kills jobs, and will lead to more government intrusion.

It is estimated this bill will raise electricity rates 90 percent, gasoline prices 74 percent, natural gas prices 55 percent--and that's in addition to the expected rise in all of those sources of energy because this Congress, for the last 2 1/2 years, has refused to take up a real American energy plan to devote more to producing domestic sources of all of our traditional sources of energy and developing new sources.

We support the effort for energy efficiency. We support the effort to promote new and alternative forms of energy. We do not support this kind of suicide for the American economy.

I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.

It would be true democracy to allow the people's representatives to have a say about what is in this legislation. However, committees with jurisdiction, including the Agriculture Committee, were not allowed to mark-up the bill and make changes.

The simple truth behind this legislation--it raises taxes, kills jobs and will lead to more government intrusion. Many have said the ``Peterson compromise'' is a win for farmers. Let me be clear, this legislation is not a win for American famers. Agriculture is an energy intensive industry, and this legislation will make the cost of energy even higher for everyone.

In effect this legislation turns off the ability to produce energy from reliable sources in favor of energy technologies that have not proven that they can meet the energy demands of our nation. We cannot ignore that America's economy is intrinsically linked to the availability and affordability of energy. During this economic slow-down we should adopt policies that seek to rebuild our economy and create more jobs. We need reliable and affordable energy supplies. Unfortunately, cap and trade legislation would only further cripple our economy.


Mr. GOODLATTE. I thank the gentleman for yielding and commend him for offering this amendment, which is a great opportunity for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stop putting the cart before the horse and suppressing our traditional sources of energy, oil, natural gas, coal. Doesn't even do anything for nuclear power, and yet you want to push us into a direction where the technology doesn't yet exist.

This legislation, this amendment, this substitute is exactly what you can need. You can vote for this, put us on a Manhattan Project to develop the new green technology that we need in this country, to do it in a way that is commercially feasible, to do it in a way that can rise up to replacing the 95 percent of our sources of energy that we have in our country this day, that you can push down in this legislation.

And if you were to vote for that and against the underlying bill, we would be putting this country on a course in a bipartisan fashion that would lead our country to exactly what we need. Unlike the Markey-Waxman approach, this amendment does not pick winners or losers in technology. It allows the ingenuity of American citizens to create the technology that will make our country energy independent.

I urge my colleagues to support the gentleman's substitute.

This amendment focuses on making our country energy independent through the innovation of American individuals and businesses, not through government mandates and intrusion. Unlike the Waxman-Markey approach, this amendment does not pick winners and losers in technology but allows the ingenuity of American citizens to create the technology that will make our country energy independent while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

Most importantly, the Forbes Amendment won't raise the cost of living to American consumers or hinder the ability for American businesses to compete. The technology that a new Manhattan Project could spur has the ability to rebuild our economy and make it stronger than ever before.

The Forbes Amendment is the right approach to make our country energy independent while reducing carbon emissions. I encourage all my colleagues to vote for this amendment.


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