House Debates Final Energy Independence and Security Act

Today, the House is debating a motion to concur in the Senate amendments to H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act. The House passed the bill on December 6th, and the Senate passed the bill on December 13th. House passage of the bill sends it to the President’s desk, and the White House has indicated that the President will sign the bill. The legislation:

Strengthens National Security
· Increases vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon in 2020–the first congressional increase in 32 years.
· Slashes U.S. oil consumption by more than 4 million barrels per day by 2030–more than twice our daily imports from the Persian Gulf.
· Expands American-grown biofuels to 36 billion gallons in 2022.

Reduces Global Warming
· Cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by 24 percent of what is needed to save the planet.
· Increased vehicle fuel efficiency has the equivalent effect of taking 28 million vehicles off the road.
· Increases the efficiency of buildings, homes, appliances, and lighting, reducing emissions 75 percent as much as increasing vehicle efficiency.
· Makes an historic commitment to American homegrown renewable energy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Lowers Energy Costs
· Increased vehicle fuel efficiency will save American families $700 to $1,000 a year at the pump.
· New fuel efficiency standards will produce $22 billion in net annual savings for consumers in 2020.
· Building, appliance, and lighting efficiency will save consumers $400 billion through 2030.

Creates Jobs
· Massive development of biofuels and cutting-edge energy research will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
· Job training will prepare workers for 3 million new 'green' jobs over 10 years
· Small businesses will be renewable energy leaders.

Reps. Hilda Solis (CA-32), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Ed Markey (MA-07) spoke in favor during debate on the rule:

Rep. Solis: “The bill recognizes that energy policy is not only about improving the infrastructure, but also about creating economic fuents for all. Major investments in renewable energy could create three million green jobs over the course of 10 years. These jobs can lead to self-sufficiency, prosperity, higher wages and access to benefits and higher — better career choices. These jobs will stay in the US and not be outsourced. I’m proud that it provides $125 million workforce training… It includes pathways out of poverty so that Silicon Valley advances so will people in east lauks, the Bronx and in the mid — Los Angeles, the Bronx and the midwest. It tells you that there is a place for you in the green economy.”
Rep. Blumenauer: “I’m pleased that this bill contains provisions I’ve worked on to try and align the interests of the natural gas companies to promote energy efficiency, rather than penalizing them for conservation. I am pleased that we are going to have increased energy efficiency for light bulbs, appliances, buildings, and government agencies. All of these are starting to lay the foundation for legislation that is long overdue.”
Rep. Markey: “Today, in this legislation we increase to 35 miles per gallon the fuel economy standard of the vehicles that we are going to drive by the year 2020. Now, that in conjunction with the cellulosic fuel component, the biofuel component that’s built into this legislation, by the year 2030 we’ll back out, we’ll back out the equivalent of twice the amount of oil which we import from the Persian Gulf today. So here’s what we have today, this whirlpool within which the United States has caught itself where we send nearly $150 million a day to the Persian Gulf to purchase the 2.2 million barrels per day that we import out of the Persian Gulf to bring to the United States. $55 billion to $60 billion a year, sending over to parts of the world that we should have no business in it.”

Rep. George Miller (CA-07) speaks in favor during debate on the rule:

Rep. Miller: “To give us an opportunity, this Congress and the American public, to break with the past to break with the stranglehold of the old way of thinking, both about our transportation sector and about our energy sector. To introduce into that sector the competition of alternative energy sources, of renewable energy sources, efficient automobiles. It will change America dramatically. As we know this legislation, as many have said, by 2030 it will save almost four million barrels a day. That’s almost the equivalent of the output of this entire nation. You can keep thinking that you can produce your way out of this problem, but it has shown that we can’t.”

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-12) speaks in favor during debate on the rule:

Rep. Velázquez: “When people talk about a green economy and green collar jobs, they talk about small businesses. Mr. Speaker, these reforms sustain and expand the efforts of small businesses in adding stability to our energy markets… the bill before us shows that meeting the needs of our environment doesn’t mean we cannot meet the needs of our economy.”
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