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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman from Indiana.

We continually hear from the Republicans that the pain of budget cuts has to be spread all around. Everyone has to deal with some pain. But we saw that was completely untrue in their budget plan. The GOP said, Sorry Grandma, not enough money for Medicare; sorry, low-income kids, we can't afford Medicaid. But billions, billions in tax breaks for Big Oil companies, they all stay on the books. They don't even touch any of the tax breaks for Big Oil, for Big Gas, for Big Coal. Tax loopholes that help keep companies offshoring jobs, those were too important to cut as well.

The Republican plan is about misplaced priorities, and we see it in full
display here, once again, today in this bill on the House floor. When it comes to nuclear power, the Republicans want to spend more taxpayer money after Fukushima. When it comes to coal, Republicans want to spend more taxpayer money. This bill even keeps alive the deepwater drilling program, ensuring that millions in tax breaks continue to be wasted on developing oil drilling technologies that rich oil companies already have and can afford to pay for themselves by tipping American consumers upside down at the pumps every time they go to refill their gas tanks. They don't need taxpayer money to do this. The last in line should be oil companies. They're the first in line. They are the first in line under the Republican agenda.

Now, when it comes to clean energy, though, when it comes to the future, what young people think should be the future of our country--solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, clean vehicles, hybrids, plug-in vehicles, all-electric vehicles, more efficient buildings, increases in science spending for research so we make the breakthroughs in energy research and weatherizing homes and buildings--what does this budget do? Down, down, down, down, down. They cut those budgets, every one of them. They cut the future. They cut the future. What do they do for the past, for oil, for coal, for gas, for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump? Up, up, up with the past. That's what this whole debate is about. It's a debate about the past versus the future.

And their budget, this budget, cuts the future. It cuts it in a radical way. And it says to the young people in our country, you're going to have to wait for another generation before we see the breakthroughs in wind and solar and all-electric vehicles.

That's the message to young people all across our country in this Republican budget. They cut wind and

solar $134 million. They cut clean vehicle technology $46 million, green building technology $61 million, science research $43 million, weatherization $141 million. The list goes on and on and on--more money for technologies of the past, less money for technologies of the future.

I will have an amendment next week that will give us an opportunity to rectify some of these misplaced spending priorities. But I have to hand it to my Republican colleagues for one thing. They are actually being honest.


Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman.

I have to hand it to my Republican colleagues. They are being honest with this bill. For the first time, unequivocally, the Republicans are telling Americans that their plan is to retreat from a clean energy future, from a solar, wind, biomass and all-electric future. They are saying it here, We want to cut all of those programs.

There's no hiding behind the numbers. They're screaming out here at the Members of the House on the floor and to the young people of our country. They're screaming, We are going to retreat from the future. They can't talk about their all-of-the-above energy program anymore. No, ladies and gentlemen. Their program is not all of the above. It's oil above all. That's what it's about. That's how they keep the tax breaks. That's how they keep the subsidies for the oil industry. They cut the programs for wind and solar.

Now, which industry in America is the last one, right now, that needs a tax break? It's the oil industry. They're recording the largest profits of any corporations in the history of America. If we're going to begin anywhere, can we begin with them? Do we have to take it out of clean energy to keep all the tax breaks for those wealthiest companies?

Do you know who's the happiest right now, who is really smiling? The corners of their mouths are turned upwards all across Venezuela, all across Saudi Arabia, and all across OPEC. They're looking out here at the Republican budget for the future, and they're saying, Ah, we can sleep at night. We don't have to worry that there will be more efficient vehicles. We don't have to worry that they're moving to an all-electric vehicle future. We don't have to worry that they're going to tell us that they don't need our oil any more than we need their sand. No. Their message is going to be, Bring it on. Let us continue to go on our hands and knees and beg for them to please produce more oil, please sell us more oil at $100 a barrel. Please do that. That's what this Republican budget says.

Vote "no.''


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