Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, for the last time, I have an amendment at the desk.
The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.
The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, our Nation is at an energy crossroads. Either we can further increase our addiction to fossil fuels and use advanced technologies to suck out every last drop of oil, coal, and natural gas that exists underneath the Earth's surface, no matter what the economic or environmental cost, or we can decide to break our addiction to fossil fuels by investing in clean, renewable energy sources that have the capacity to power our Nation forever.
The majority's decision to cut funding for renewable energy programs and increase spending on fossil fuels makes it clear that they haven't quite gotten off their addiction to dirty energy, but this amendment offers them an opportunity do so. Their decision is shortsighted, will endanger American prosperity, and threaten our economic viability.
To help rectify this situation, this amendment's offered to cut $32 million from the Fossil Energy Research and Development account and increase the Solar Energy program by $16 million, to give my friends on the other side an opportunity to let the Sun shine in and join with God's wonderful source of energy. My amendment has a net impact of zero on the budget authority and does not increase 2012 outlays.
Despite overwhelming evidence that the U.S. needs to invest more in solar and spend less on fossil fuels, the majority has decided to reduce funding for solar research and development by 37 percent. This severe cut is unacceptable and especially egregious since the majority has allocated an additional $32 million to the Fossil Fuels account, a 7 percent increase.
This amendment that I have offered seeks to create some parity to 2011 funding by cutting the Fossil Fuels account back to its 2011 level and increasing the Solar account by 10 percent. Solar is the future and fossil fuels aren't.
If the majority wants to fulfill their commitment to create jobs and increase American energy security, then they need to start seriously investing in solar. Recent studies have demonstrated investments in solar can create three times as many jobs as funding for traditional fossil fuels. And if the government decided to invest $1 million in solar development, that investment would create at least 17 jobs. But that same million dollars in fossil fuels would create but five jobs. And jobs is what
the American public is interested in.
The 17 jobs created would be high-paying jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, the kind of jobs that once were the backbone of our Nation and the jobs that the American [Page: H5055]
people are clamoring for, giving the middle class an opportunity to have jobs and participate in the American economy.
I have witnessed the power of solar in my own community to create jobs, spur economic development, and transform the lives of everyday Americans. As a result of previous Federal solar investments, Sharp Solar, which is located in my district, is a burgeoning solar industry and operates a manufacturing facility that employs nearly 500 Memphians. Additional Federal investments in solar will create thousands of new jobs in my district and millions of new jobs across the country, some of which will
be in New Jersey.
Not only is solar a superior job creator, but it's also a far better long-term investment. Fossil fuel proponents may not publicly admit it, but renewable energy will power the future. So establishing dominance in this sector is critical to our national energy security and economic security. Supplies of fossil fuels are diminishing rapidly, and their nonrenewable nature makes them a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
Recognizing the critical role renewable energy technologies like solar will have, nations across the world are making massive investments in clean technology so they can establish themselves as leaders and exporters of the future's energy. I recently visited Germany, and solar is everywhere. The Germans are investing and supplying many of their buildings with solar, and they are a leader, just as China is. But America's being left behind.
As is demonstrated by this appropriations bill, the U.S. is not making the requisite investments in solar to compete in the emerging global marketplace. Unless the majority decides to change course and support the efforts that we've made here to make unprecedented investments in renewables, the United States will transition from importing oil from the Middle East to importing clean energy technologies from China and Europe, not what we should be aiming for.
My $16 million amendment alone will not determine the course of America's energy future, because we need to be investing billions in solar energy to keep up with the Chinese, the Germans, and other countries, but this zero cost amendment will create jobs and push America a little further down the road to a clean energy economy. The amendment offers a clear signal to the American people and the world the United States is serious about ending its addiction to fossil fuels and becoming a world leader
in the renewable energy sector.
We shouldn't just orbit around the Sun; we should harness its energy and use it to supply energy for this planet. The Sun is there for a purpose other than just an anchor.
I urge support for this important amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to the gentlewoman from Tennessee's amendment.
The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.