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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would prevent any funds in this bill from being spent on the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center.

Our Department of Energy is using our taxpayer dollars to help China to develop their energy systems. This specific expenditure is $37.5 million over 5 years. China should be spending their own money for developing their own energy systems.

With the miserable shape of our budget and our economy, the last thing we should be doing is depleting our resources to help the Chinese become more efficient and thus more competitive. We are borrowing money from Communist China, paying interest on that money, and then turning around and subsidizing the development of a high-tech manufacturing sector in China that will take away more American jobs. This is as nutty as it gets.

The Department of Energy is helping the Communist Chinese to build electric vehicles. Over the next 20 years, the electric vehicle industry may well be creating 130,000 up to maybe 350,000 American jobs. As of 2010, 30,000 Americans are already working in the electric vehicle and advanced battery industries. Tesla Motors in my State is already doing it. Why are we spending our tax dollars to put these jobs in jeopardy by improving the Chinese ability to build such cars? Why does our government want to ship jobs to China and subsidize the effort?

The Clean Energy Research Center also shares American know-how with China in advanced coal technology. The global value of electricity generated using clean coal technologies was $63 billion in 2010 and by 2020 will reach $85 billion. U.S. companies have the potential to capture the global market and can sell American-designed and -built technology to China, but if we give the Chinese access to our research now, our lead in this area will be undercut. Why are we undercutting ourselves?

Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese companies for unfair trade practices regarding solar panels. Sixty-six Chinese producers were named, which suggests this is a concerted effort to undermine the United States market.

In 2011, the U.S. imported over $3 billion worth in Chinese panels, and since 2001 our share of the global market in these panels has shrunk from 27 percent to just 5 percent. Over 100,000 American jobs depend directly or indirectly on the success of the U.S. solar industry. Why are we subsidizing the Chinese development of this technology?

China is not playing by the same rules that we're playing by. The Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive released a report last year which states:

Chinese actors are the world's most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.

Among the technologies which they have the greatest interest in is stealing. And what they're interested in stealing is the cutting-edge energy technologies that we are developing with our expertise.

Let's stop paying the Chinese to give them access to our best scientists, research centers, and technology. They are already stealing enough intellectual property to enhance their own economic and military power. They are robbing us blind, but we are not blind. This is happening right in front of our face. America's high-tech industry--whether in energy, aerospace, or any other kind of manufacturing--should be way out in front of the competition. Why are we helping China close that gap?

This amendment would put a stop to over $7 million annually that is being used to bolster the efforts of our Chinese adversary. Transferring technology or funds to help develop that technology to a strategic rival makes no sense whatsoever. I urge my colleagues to support my amendment and put an end to it.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. ROHRABACHER. Well, I'll make this very quick.

We're not talking about all cooperation. I'm not opposed to all cooperation. I'm opposed to cooperation with the Adolf Hitlers of our day--the people who are murdering Christians and other religious people as we speak. No, we should not be cooperating with that government in developing their technologies, whether it's energy or otherwise.

All of these different groups that are cooperating with them, this is part of a group that also has research going on throughout our universities of the United States. That makes it even worse because you have Chinese nationals there who are taking as much of the information as they can and taking it back to China from our universities.

We should be opposed to this. Let's stand up for the American worker and what's right.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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