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Public Statements

Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chair, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. We have voted over 30 times to repeal the health care law. We have already voted on a number of provisions in the bill before us. Each time the Republican majority has forced through legislation with little to no bipartisan support and each time the Senate has refused to consider any one of those bills.

Where are the jobs bills? Where are the new ideas from the Republican majority? How much time have we wasted this Congress on legislation that will never be considered by the Senate and would never be signed by the President?

A partisan agenda is not what this country needs; what we need are investments in innovative technologies and sources of energy so America does not fall further behind countries such as China, Korea, Germany, and others
who are subsidizing innovative energy technology.

This bill and the bills we've already voted on this package are simply veto bait that does nothing to help working families, invest in innovative technology, or boost our manufacturing industry.

The majority of the bill before us today deals with the Clean Air Act. In passing the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which a number of my Republican colleagues in this House cosponsored, the Energy and Commerce Committee held over 70 hearings during a 10 year period and 21 more during the 101st Congress. A total of seven House Committees participated in the Conference Committee. My point in saying all of this is that any changes to the Clean Air Act must include vigorous debate, not just with the people we agree with, but also those we disagree with. It must also include careful analysis of the Clean Air Act and what problems it creates and what this Committee and Congress should do about these problems. To my colleagues I would say if there is a problem, we should use the limited time we have to address the question of what are the problems and what are the alternatives or solutions.

Just because members disagree with some of the actions taken by the EPA recently doesn't mean we need to defund and dismantle the EPA. As I have said a number of times, the Clean Air Act alone has reduced key pollutants by 60 percent since 1970 while at the same time the economy grew by over 200 percent. We can maintain a healthful environment while creating jobs and growing businesses without going back to the days of un-drinkable water and unbreathable air.

We cannot simply be the House of ``no.'' We can and we must do better for the sake of our country. I must ask my Republican colleagues, is your priority this Congress to build partisan talking points or build a stronger American economy that can compete in the global economy of the 21st century? I hope it is the latter because I know I was elected to do the work of the people and I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will start doing the same.


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