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Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

My amendment is going to call for 25 percent of the electricity in the United States being generated by renewables by the year 2035.

The United States, excluding hydro, is already up to 7 or 8 percent of all of our electricity generated by renewables here in 2012. So, 23 years from now, the goal would be to reach 25 percent.

Now, why do I feel compelled to bring this amendment out here? Well, while the Republicans say that there's a war on coal, so far in this first year and 9 months that they have controlled the United States Congress, they have declared war on solar; they have declared war on wind; they have declared war on all renewables. That's why I bring this amendment down here to the House floor.

They are going to kill the production tax credit for wind energy that is going to send the wind industry off a cliff next year.

Already, 2,367 jobs have been lost in the wind industry because of Republican action. Forty thousand jobs will be lost next year because of Republican action. They are out to deliberately kill these jobs. How many will be lost? Three thousand to 4,000 jobs in Pennsylvania will be lost; 4,000 to 5,000 jobs in Colorado will be lost; 5,000 to 6,000 wind jobs will be lost in Ohio; 6,000 to 7,000 wind jobs will be lost in Iowa if the Republican policy is allowed to be put on the books.

They have declared war on wind. They have declared war on solar, on geothermal, on biomass.

Ladies and gentlemen, what my amendment does is say let's have a plan for everything else because it's not going to be a part of the Republican plan.

So, by the year 2035, 25 percent of all electricity in our country must come from renewables.

Now, how do we know this is possible? There were 12,000 new megawatts of wind installed in the United States this year; 3,200 new megawatts of solar installed in the United States this year.

So, geothermal, biomass, it's all growing. What's their goal? Kill it. That's their problem. Natural gas is rising. It hurts the coal industry. It's the marketplace.

Wind and solar are growing, geothermal and biomass are growing. They don't want a level playing field. They want to pick winners and losers. They want to pick favorites. That's what it's all about.

So far in their control of the Congress in just a year and 9 months, they have voted to slash research and development for wind and solar, they have voted to end loan guarantees for wind and solar, they have voted to kill the transmission wires to carry wind and solar to our homes and our offices.

The Republicans are so opposed to Americans having access to clean energy that even when it is built they don't even want to have the transmission lines to get it to American homes.

It's a war on solar and wind. My amendment ensures that there is a pathway to the future for the most abundant American energy source, wind and solar, geothermal and biomass. It's all here in America.

At this point, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. MARKEY. Then I will yield myself the balance of my time.

Wind and solar is the most abundant source of energy in the United States--when we capture it. Einstein won his Nobel Prize in 1921, the only one that won a Nobel Prize, and that's on how to capture the power of the sun. And now we're on the cusp of doing this successfully as the price per kilowatt hour drops and drops--and then it's all American.

And who is now looming over our shoulder, even though we invented these technologies, even though we're producing these technologies, are the Chinese, the Indians, and others who will pounce on this global opportunity to create the jobs here in the United States, to export this technology around the world even as we deploy the technology here in our country that backs out the energy sources from around the rest of the world. This is what they fear.

They fear the innovation. They fear the change. They fear our ability to capture wind and solar to be able to power the vehicles which we drive in our country, to be able to send up a cleaner source of energy up into the sky that does not pollute. That's what this battle is all about.

We do not want special advantage. All we want is a level playing field. The Republicans continue this war against wind and solar.

Vote ``aye'' for the Markey amendment, 25 percent renewable electricity by the year 2035.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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