A Step Towards Energy Indepedence and Green Jobs

Friday, June 26, 2009

Madam Speaker, the bill today that Chairman [Henry] Waxman has so carefully shepherded to the floor today is a landmark achievement for this body. For the first time as a Nation we are moving towards energy independence, creating millions of new clean jobs, and confronting the threat that global warming poses to the Earth.

As parents, we all struggle to provide our children with a better life. Without the strong action embodied in this bill, the world that we bequeath to our children will be diminished by continued reliance on Middle Eastern oil, by exporting billions of hard-earned American dollars to petro dictatorships, and by a warming Earth.

America has been at her best during her greatest struggles and, as before, her industry and entrepreneurial spirit will prevail. Already, the green technology industry is booming across the country, with new factories built and new companies formed every day.

Unfortunately, the Federal Government itself has not been able to fully utilize renewable energy. Many renewable energy installations have large upfront costs, which then have to be recovered in the form of cheap energy over the course of many years. But the Federal Government has been restricted from signing long-term contracts for energy, so affordable renewable energy has been unavailable to thousands of government offices around the country.

The rule for this bill inserts an important provision that I authored as independent legislation earlier this year and that I worked with many colleagues to include. It loosens the restrictions on energy purchases by the government, and that will spur local green energy development in every State in the Nation.

I hope that we can support this measure, this rule, this bill and fulfill the promise that we have given to our constituents, that we will serve this country not only today and during this Congress, but for the long haul, that we will make not only the easy decisions, but the hard ones.