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Public Statements

Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, there are many times when we come to this floor and engage in heated debate, and we've heard some heated debate on this bill. But my final amendment offers us the opportunity to come together to do something extraordinarily important, and that is to ensure our constituents' hard-earned cash is redirected away from the gas pump and back into their wallets. I want to be clear, the passage of this amendment will not prevent the passage of the underlying bill. If it's adopted, my amendment will be incorporated into the bill and the bill will be immediately voted upon.

Now I make no apologies for opposing this bill. Regardless of how you feel about the bill, my amendment should be something we could all agree on.

My amendment preserves new fuel efficiency standards issued last month if their repeal would mean higher prices at the pump for our constituents or lost jobs for our workers. These new standards raise fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon. That's roughly twice the mileage our cars are getting today.

By 2025, these standards will save consumers $1.7 trillion at the gas pump, and they will cut our oil imports by 2 million barrels per day. That's one half our current imports for OPEC. They also represent a new chapter for American ingenuity.

Mr. Speaker, if U.S. engineers made it possible for every car to include a computer more powerful than the one that sent a man to the Moon, then surely they can produce cars that go further on a gallon of gas. The good news is they can and they are.

There are now 57 fuel-efficient models available in showrooms today, up from 27 models in 2009. Car makers have retooled some of their most popular models to boost efficiency, and the improvements keep coming.

The first half of this year set the record for highest-ever fuel efficiency for new vehicles. Consumers are rewarding these breakthroughs. Fuel efficiency is the top concern for car buyers by far, and this is according to Consumer Reports.

Consumers support these new standards. Families will save an estimated $8,000 in gasoline costs over the lifetime of their car, and that's equivalent to lowering the price of gasoline by $1 per gallon. These new standards also provide something consumer trends cannot: long-term certainty. And that's why three major automakers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler--all support them.

Strong standards tell carmakers exactly what goal they need to reach by when so they can invest in innovation, deploy new technologies, and build cars right here in America. When they do that, they hire more workers. More than 150,000 Americans have jobs making parts for and assembling more efficient cars in America today. Car makers are moving production to our shores also.

One car maker alone, Honda, recently announced plans to move all global Civic hybrid manufacturing to Indiana from Japan, creating 300 jobs by the end of the year.

This onshoring of jobs is because of our commitment to making more efficient cars and components in America. That's why GM's CEO, Dan Akerson, called these standards, ``a win for American manufacturers for the very first time.''

Mr. Speaker, everybody wins when more efficient cars hit the road. American workers win, drivers win, and automakers. These standards demonstrate the best of America, how creating jobs goes hand-in-hand with protecting the environment and health, how drivers can save billions in gasoline costs, how the American auto industry can compete with any country in the world. That's why we must preserve these historic standards and the enormous benefits that come with them by voting for my final amendment.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask that all colleagues weigh this simple proposition: Do you want your constituents to pay less at the pump and drive more efficient cars made in America? If your answer is yes, then vote for my amendment. It ensures that our constituents will save thousands of dollars every year at the gas pump, and it makes sure that American workers will find jobs building the cars of the future right here in America.

Today we have the opportunity to speak with one voice, to save these landmark car efficiency standards. It's up to us. Support this final amendment to the bill.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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