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Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 3585, Solar Technology Roadmap Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.

Mr. Speaker and Members of the House, the House has an opportunity today to do something in a very fair and correct way and that is very important.

I do want the record to reflect the degree of inclusion that Chairman Gordon and the members of his committee have put forth in this bill.

By my count, there were 29 suggestions made by the minority which are included in this underlying legislation. One was made at the subcommittee level and was accepted, and three were made at the full committee level and were accepted. The gentlewoman from Arizona has a manager's amendment which will be considered by the House later today. My understanding is it includes 25 suggestions from the minority. The minority had some input, so the idea that this is a one-sided discussion, I think, is simply not accurate. More importantly, the discussion takes us in a direction that our country very badly needs to go.

My friend from Tennessee just talked about the importance of paying down the national debt, and he sure is right. There is a best way to pay down the national debt, in my view, and two of the best ways are included in this bill. The first is to stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy from countries that are not terribly friendly to us. The second way is to put Americans to work. So, instead of consuming public resources in the welfare, Medicaid or food stamp systems, they're paying more taxes because they're making more money, and they're contributing to the Treasury in that way.

This bill puts us on a path that leads to those two directions. It is a road map. It suggests ways that innovative strategies can be used to increase the amount of energy that we derive from the sun.

Now, my friend from New Mexico could have talked about how solar energy is prominent in his State because they do have a lot of sunshine there. I'm from New Jersey. We have a fair degree of sunshine but certainly not to the degree that they have in New Mexico. However, New Jersey is now second in the Nation in the number of kilowatt hours that we produce from solar energy. So our State is living proof of the fact that you do not have to be in a warmer, sunny-all-the-time climate in order to achieve progress in this way. Those are the kinds of strategies that we will see investigated and encouraged as a result of this bill.

You know, this is a matter of energy, environment and security. The energy aspects are obvious. The more energy we derive from the sun, the less we buy from the Middle East and the less vulnerable we are. Second, it's a matter of the environment. The emission of greenhouse gases is a serious and growing problem in our ecosystem, and this bill would reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we emit into the environment.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. POLIS. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.

Mr. ANDREWS. Finally, it's a matter of national security. Many of the problems that vex us today in the international situation are precisely because we put ourselves in a position of disadvantage by buying so much necessary energy from overseas, often from countries who do not share our human rights or international agenda.

This has been a very fair and open process. It's a very wise and forward-looking bill, and I would encourage Members of both the majority and minority to support this rule and to support the underlying bill later this afternoon.


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