1:14 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

I respectfully disagree with our distinguished majority leader. The bill before us is a change. It may be historic, but it is not positive. We are moving from a market-based energy policy, which has served this country well for over 150 years, to a government-mandated energy policy.

[Time: 13:15]

We are mandating 36 billion gallons of biofuels which don't exist and probably won't exist. We are mandating that 15 percent of all investor-owned utilities be generated by renewable means, where in some States that is physically impossible. We are mandating that we improve automobile fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by a date certain, which, if that is technically feasible, it is going to be very expensive and probably raise the average price of an automobile several thousands of dollars.

We are mandating all of these things in the interests of energy security, which is a noble goal. I think we would be better off developing the domestic resources of our great land, just like it says up there in the quote from Daniel Webster, instead of engaging in government mandates which will raise costs and probably not increase supplies.

1:16 PM EST

John D. Dingell Jr., D-MI 15th

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, it is not unknown that I have had some reservations about the bill and about the procedure that has brought us to the floor. I note to you, Mr. Speaker, that this is, however, a good bill and one which I support. Indeed, this is legislation which the Nation has to have, and, for that reason, I urge my colleagues to vote for it.

I begin with proper commendations to our Speaker, to Mr. Hoyer, to Mr. Rangel, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Peterson of Minnesota, Mr. Oberstar, Mr. Rahall, and Mr. George Miller of California, the Chairs of our colleagues' committees, for their good work and leadership on this matter, and I do salute you, Madam Speaker, for your leadership here.

I would note that the perfection of this matter or how it was handled is not a question before us, but, rather, it is what we should do about a major problem which this Nation confronts. In my extension of remarks, I will talk about the costs of failure to act at this time.

This is not a bill that the Committee on Energy and Commerce and my colleagues and I would have written if it had followed the regular order, nor, indeed, is it achieved under the order which we would have followed. Indeed, it is a process which is brought about in good part because of the lack of interest by the White House and, very frankly, the incompetence and the indifference and the arrogance of the other body.

I will be voting for this legislation because it contains a number of significant landmark achievements. It will raise fuel economy standards by 40 percent, to 35 miles per gallon, and it will do it in a way which achieves and protects American jobs and it gives manufacturers proper flexibility in achieving our goals.

It also closes what has been misleadingly, and I think dishonestly, called the SUV loophole. It expands incentives for the production of cars and trucks that run on renewable fuels, and it will help American factories to retool to build the cars and trucks of tomorrow.

I want to, at this time, pay particular compliment and congratulations to two of our very able colleagues and those who have joined them in their efforts to protect this legislation; Mr. Hill of Indiana, an extremely valuable Member of this body, and Mr. Terry, another very valuable Member of this body. These two Members from Indiana and Nebraska have provided extraordinary leadership in this matter in the Hill-Terry bill, and they deserve the thanks and the congratulations

of this Congress.

This legislation includes efficiency standards for buildings and appliances that will remove more than 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, an amount equal to five times the annual emissions of all cars on the road today in the United States.

For those who are concerned about portions of the bill dealing with renewable fuels and renewable electricity generation, I would simply say that this is far from the final work, and the committee will carry forward its oversight on these matters vigorously.

I reserve the balance of my time and at this time, Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to yield the remainder of my time to the distinguished gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Boucher), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, and I ask that he be permitted to control the time.

1:19 PM EST

John D. Dingell Jr., D-MI 15th

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, it is not unknown that I have had some reservations about the bill and about the procedure that has brought us to the floor. I note to you, Mr. Speaker, that this is, however, a good bill and one which I support. Indeed, this is legislation which the Nation has to have, and, for that reason, I urge my colleagues to vote for it.

I begin with proper commendations to our Speaker, to Mr. Hoyer, to Mr. Rangel, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Peterson of Minnesota, Mr. Oberstar, Mr. Rahall, and Mr. George Miller of California, the Chairs of our colleagues' committees, for their good work and leadership on this matter, and I do salute you, Madam Speaker, for your leadership here.

I would note that the perfection of this matter or how it was handled is not a question before us, but, rather, it is what we should do about a major problem which this Nation confronts. In my extension of remarks, I will talk about the costs of failure to act at this time.

This is not a bill that the Committee on Energy and Commerce and my colleagues and I would have written if it had followed the regular order, nor, indeed, is it achieved under the order which we would have followed. Indeed, it is a process which is brought about in good part because of the lack of interest by the White House and, very frankly, the incompetence and the indifference and the arrogance of the other body.

I will be voting for this legislation because it contains a number of significant landmark achievements. It will raise fuel economy standards by 40 percent, to 35 miles per gallon, and it will do it in a way which achieves and protects American jobs and it gives manufacturers proper flexibility in achieving our goals.

It also closes what has been misleadingly, and I think dishonestly, called the SUV loophole. It expands incentives for the production of cars and trucks that run on renewable fuels, and it will help American factories to retool to build the cars and trucks of tomorrow.

I want to, at this time, pay particular compliment and congratulations to two of our very able colleagues and those who have joined them in their efforts to protect this legislation; Mr. Hill of Indiana, an extremely valuable Member of this body, and Mr. Terry, another very valuable Member of this body. These two Members from Indiana and Nebraska have provided extraordinary leadership in this matter in the Hill-Terry bill, and they deserve the thanks and the congratulations

of this Congress.

This legislation includes efficiency standards for buildings and appliances that will remove more than 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, an amount equal to five times the annual emissions of all cars on the road today in the United States.

For those who are concerned about portions of the bill dealing with renewable fuels and renewable electricity generation, I would simply say that this is far from the final work, and the committee will carry forward its oversight on these matters vigorously.

I reserve the balance of my time and at this time, Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to yield the remainder of my time to the distinguished gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Boucher), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, and I ask that he be permitted to control the time.

1:20 PM EST

Buck McKeon, R-CA 25th

Mr. McKEON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise in opposition to H.R. 6, the Democrat no energy plan. As senior Republican on the Education and Labor Committee, I oppose not only the bill's remarkable lack of any new energy, but also its inclusion of bureaucratic mandates that will kill American jobs and complicate job-training.

Just yesterday, a letter was sent to the National Economic Council Director Allan Hubbard claiming that the bill, and I quote, ``Will not significantly expand the application of Davis- [Page: H14426]

Bacon prevailing wage requirements.'' Now, I don't know how the majority defines the words ``significantly expand,'' but by my count, this bill contains at least seven separate instances in which the Davis-Bacon wage mandates are imposed.

Simply put, this bill furthers the majority's aggressive application of Davis-Bacon wage mandates. Davis-Bacon wages can inflate project costs by as much as 15 percent, costs that get passed on to taxpayers. They also force private companies to do hundreds of millions of dollars of excessive administrative work each year, squandering resources that would be better spent creating jobs and spurring innovation.

As if the job killing Davis-Bacon requirements weren't bad enough, this bill also complicates our job training system by creating a redundant and unnecessary program to expand the energy efficient and renewable energy workforce. If this no energy package becomes law, it will mean more red tape, more bureaucracy and more hurdles for job seekers. We are talking about energy efficiency. Why not talk about job training efficiency as well?

For these and other reasons, Mr. Speaker, I cannot support the Democrat no energy bill, and I urge my colleagues to join me in voting ``no.''

1:22 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, while I do not favor the renewable electricity mandate, because some areas of the country simply do not have the resources available to meet its requirements, the bill before us makes a substantial and important contribution to national energy policy and I rise in support of the measure.

Its 40 separate energy efficiency provisions will reduce future greenhouse gas emissions by 10 billion tons by the year 2030. In the year 2030 alone, the reduction will equal the annual CO

2 emissions of all of the vehicles on America's highways at the present time. The agreement on vehicle fuel efficiency is truly a landmark achievement.

The renewable fuels mandate will substantially lessen our reliance upon imported oil, and the bill advances the introduction of electrically powered vehicles and much needed CO

2 separation and storage technologies.

I urge the passage of this measure.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:23 PM EST

Steve Pearce, R-NM 2nd

Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Speaker, we heard a comparison today between December 7 and what we are passing today. December 7 began World War II in the Pacific, and if we read the history books, actually the war was lost by Japan and Germany because they ran out of oil. Japan was trying to keep us from interrupting their oil supplies and they ran out of oil. And we are absolutely disarming ourselves, taking away our own oil for the future here with this bill. I fail to see the connection that was being made

earlier.

We have been told right now in this debate that we should consider what we are going to do about the problem before us. Now, the problem before us that I saw yesterday was that Dow Chemical began to ship its jobs overseas. Previously this summer they had announced $22 billion worth of investment in Saudi Arabia because the price of natural gas here is above $7, and it is below $1 there. They are simply choosing the economic choices that lie before them.

Mr. Speaker, when this bill first passed the House of Representatives, The Washington Post referred to it saying it would be legislation that is welcomed in Russia and Bolivia and other countries. The version before us today would still prompt the same comment, I am sure.

We should be working to expand our manufacturing. We should be working to encourage American energy companies to expand their operations by building U.S. jobs. But this bill, today's bill, hurts our domestic manufacturers by adding $21 billion in new taxes on Americans, but no new taxes on those other foreign oil companies. We are choosing foreign over domestic producers.

We should be working to help America's forest communities biomass plants. Instead, the majority's bill prohibits this. We are stopped dead in our tracks from taking biomass out of Federal lands, out of our national forests. The mandate is let them burn; we don't want to take biomass out of them.

We should be working to expand our domestic energy supply, but instead we are restricting future supplies of energy.

China has made its choices. They are building one new coal plant each week for the next 10 years. We are choosing to not have new energy. It is the wrong bill. I would recommend a ``no'' vote.

1:25 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, at this time I recognize the gentlelady from Nevada (Ms. Berkley) for a unanimous consent request.

(Ms. BERKLEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

1:26 PM EST

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, let me thank my friend and colleague for yielding and giving me the opportunity to rise in support of this bill.

I am confident that this Congress will be noted for the initiative that we are voting on today and that the American people will not be as concerned with the process and the procedure as they would be as to what did the Congress do in terms of dealing with the issue of global warming as well as relieving us of the dependency on foreign oil.

These are the crucial issues that Americans have looked to us to deal with. And I don't think it can be challenged that although there are those who have objections that it is not all that they would want it to be, it is a step that all of us in Congress should be proud that we moved forward.

The Clean Renewable Energy and Conservation Tax Act of 2007, as included in H.R. 6, presents a step in the right direction to present solutions to the problems that our great Nation and, indeed, the world are facing.

What did we do? To accelerate the use of clean, domestic, renewable energy sources and alternative fuels; to promote the use of energy-efficient products and practices and conservation; and to increase research and development in the deployment of clean, renewable energy and efficiency technologies.

The tax title of H.R. 6 makes good on this promise. The compromise package includes robust incentives for renewable energy production, increased efficiency, plug-in electric drive vehicles, and incentives for carbon capture, as well as the sequestration of coal demonstration projects.

The package facilitates and advances the development of advanced electricity infrastructure, it contains incentives to mitigate carbon remissions, it promotes the production of renewable energy and security of our domestic fuel supply, and it encourages energy savings and efficiency.

This package cost is fully offset by including certain provisions that were [Page: H14427]

loopholes that were undeserved of being given to oil and gas giveaways, not to the smaller suppliers of oil, but to the very largest that have had obscene profits without the benefits of the technology necessary to remove the dependency.

Specifically, the package will repeal the domestic manufacturing incentive for the top five integrated producers while freezing reductions at 6 percent for all others in the oil and gas sector. The package tightens foreign tax credit rules for foreign oil and gas extraction income and foreign oil-related income.

[Time: 13:30]

I want to take this particular time to thank Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, and, more particularly, John Dingell for bringing together the interests and concerns of the standing committees and having us come forward as a body to fulfill the commitment that we made earlier on that we were going to respond to the needs of the people of our great Nation and certainly to the people of the world.

I do hope that while there has been a lot of partisanship in terms of lack of cooperation on the other side, that at the end of the day when people at town hall meetings or our children and grandchildren would ask the questions, what did we do, we can say we supported this great historic piece of legislation.

1:30 PM EST

Fred Upton, R-MI 6th

Mr. UPTON. Mr. Speaker, I was driving in this morning listening to the radio and I heard an ad. The ad said, vote for the bipartisan energy bill when it comes up today, and it told you to call your local Congressperson. Who are you going to call? Not even Ghost Busters can find a Republican to make this a bipartisan bill.

Our energy needs in this country are going to grow by about 50 percent by the year 2030, and there is no question that we need to do a better job on conservation, looking for alternative fuels; but this bill doesn't do that. This bill is not the bipartisan piece of legislation that we want. There is no bipartisan bill on the House floor. There is no Republican substitute. There were no Republican amendments. There was not even a conference named to try and iron out differences between the House

and the Senate. Virtually, there was no Republican involvement or input on this legislation at all. And so, therefore, as a consequence, there are no Republicans at least on this side of the aisle that can make the bill bipartisan.

In 2005, we passed an important energy bill, and it was bipartisan. Chairman Barton did a terrific job in the hearings and the conference that we had, and it enjoyed the support then of Ranking Member Dingell to make sure that in fact it was bipartisan. But raising taxes, which this bill does, on energy producers is the last thing that our Nation needs as our consumers try and grapple with higher energy costs, whether that be heating or gasoline.

Yesterday, in an important hearing, my good friend from Michigan (Mr. Dingell) offered advice to the panel that was there when he took over the chairmanship of our important committee, Energy and Commerce. And he said this. He said: ``The Parliamentarian told me that the process needed to be fair and there needed to be a perception of fairness.'' Mr. Speaker, I lament that this bill is neither. It is not fair nor is the perception there.

I urge my colleagues on both sides to vote ``no.''

1:32 PM EST

Fred Upton, R-MI 6th

Mr. UPTON. Mr. Speaker, I was driving in this morning listening to the radio and I heard an ad. The ad said, vote for the bipartisan energy bill when it comes up today, and it told you to call your local Congressperson. Who are you going to call? Not even Ghost Busters can find a Republican to make this a bipartisan bill.

Our energy needs in this country are going to grow by about 50 percent by the year 2030, and there is no question that we need to do a better job on conservation, looking for alternative fuels; but this bill doesn't do that. This bill is not the bipartisan piece of legislation that we want. There is no bipartisan bill on the House floor. There is no Republican substitute. There were no Republican amendments. There was not even a conference named to try and iron out differences between the House

and the Senate. Virtually, there was no Republican involvement or input on this legislation at all. And so, therefore, as a consequence, there are no Republicans at least on this side of the aisle that can make the bill bipartisan.

In 2005, we passed an important energy bill, and it was bipartisan. Chairman Barton did a terrific job in the hearings and the conference that we had, and it enjoyed the support then of Ranking Member Dingell to make sure that in fact it was bipartisan. But raising taxes, which this bill does, on energy producers is the last thing that our Nation needs as our consumers try and grapple with higher energy costs, whether that be heating or gasoline.

Yesterday, in an important hearing, my good friend from Michigan (Mr. Dingell) offered advice to the panel that was there when he took over the chairmanship of our important committee, Energy and Commerce. And he said this. He said: ``The Parliamentarian told me that the process needed to be fair and there needed to be a perception of fairness.'' Mr. Speaker, I lament that this bill is neither. It is not fair nor is the perception there.

I urge my colleagues on both sides to vote ``no.''

1:33 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, at this time I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon), chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology.

1:35 PM EST

Ralph M. Hall, R-TX 4th

Mr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I have just heard Mr. Dingell mention World War II and Pearl Harbor and I heard Mr. Pearce answer him; and they are both correct in what they said, that that was an energy war.

I remember like yesterday, I was 17 years old standing on the banks of the Tombigbee River in Alabama, and a guy ran down and said the Japanese are bombing Pearl Harbor. I didn't know where Pearl Harbor was. I said, we had better hitchhike back to Dallas; those Japanese will go straight to Washington. I thought Pearl Harbor was down around Mobile somewhere. That is how ignorant I was about the Nation at that time, but I am a little smarter now. And I remember well that Cordell Hull and Henry

Stimson cut the energy off from Japan. They had 13 months' national existence. They had to break out and go somewhere, and we had to know they were going to. That was an energy war. So I am a little disappointed in the majority.

During the campaign, they blamed the Republicans for high energy prices. Here, before us today, is a bill that the Democrats are touting as the end to high energy prices. There is one big obvious problem with the bill: there is nothing in this bill that will bring any relief to the citizens of our great country or that will lower the cost of a tank of gasoline or the monthly electricity bills. It will likely in fact have the opposite effect.

The bill authorizes billions and billions of dollars in new government spending programs, and mandates electric companies to use more expensive ways for electricity generation, whether they are able to or whether they are not able to. If you don't think that is going to make your electricity bill go up even more, then you are not really being realistic. Electric companies are a business just like any other business; and if their costs go up, they are going to pass them along.

We don't need to mandate Federal renewable electricity standards. Twenty-eight States and the District of Columbia already have a renewable portfolio standard in place. These standards were made on the State level based on what renewable sources are available in each State, and it is wrong for the Federal Government to enforce a one-size-fits-all standard. My home State of Texas has a very successful RPS. Since its inception in 1999, Texas has become the Nation's leader in wind energy. In June

of this year, a Texan put forward plans to build the Nation's largest wind farm in the panhandle of the State. This would be four times larger than the current wind farm.

Anyone, anyone who is serious about lowering the cost of gasoline, then, along with research and development and renewable sources of energy, they would be providing incentives to the oil and gas industry to explore more areas of our country for oil and gas. They would be providing incentives to develop our domestic sources of oil and gas. They would be providing incentives to build more refineries. These [Page: H14428]

things are not only important to address today's

high cost, but also for our national security.

We cannot forget that we import a huge amount of oil from OPEC countries that are willing to take our American dollars, but many are not really our friends. We are shamefully dependent on foreign sources of oil. We can't continue to compromise our national security.

Another opportunity the Democrats completely ignore in this bill is a chance to promote the use of clean coal for much-needed new power plants and as a source of transportation fuel. It has been said before that the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. So why are we not encouraging the environmentally friendly use of this abundant and inexpensive domestic resource? These facilities would have the best technologies to capture emissions in order to produce clean electricity and the clean

fuel that can be used immediately in our Nation's pipelines, filling stations, and in our automobiles.

My constituents are doing their part to help the environment, but they need to be able to afford to put gas in their cars so they can get to work to provide food for their families and clothes for their children. A lot of my constituents don't have transportation options. There is no bus system or rail system. They live 45 miles from work, so they certainly can't take a bike. They need their cars. They need the fuel that they put into them to be affordable. I don't see a glimmer of hope for them

in this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I do feel very strongly that we should be looking to efficiency, conservation, and renewable alternatives of energy to become part of our portfolio. And I support the provisions in this bill that do that; however, there are so many harmful things in this bill that I think the bad, ugly highly outweighs the good.

I supported and voted for the bipartisan R&D provisions as they existed coming out of the Science and Technology Committee and generally remain supportive. However, I am concerned with some changes and additions made in this amendment, changes that came about without the opportunity for vetting or Member involvement. Participation by all Members leads to a better product, and we know that.

For example, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 garnered the support of 38 Democrats who are still in the House when initially passed by the House. When brought to the floor later that year for final passage, it garnered the support of almost 70 Democrats who are still in this House.

Mr. Speaker, I can't stress how important energy is to our country. We have urged drilling in the Outer Shelf. Yes, China drills just off the coast of Key West today. And we have urged drilling in ANWR. I urge our colleagues not to play politics with our energy future.

1:41 PM EST

George Miller, D-CA 7th

Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I thank him for his leadership on this legislation. I want to thank the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and the skill and experience and the knowledge of Congressman John Dingell for all of this help on this legislation.

This is a remarkable day for the United States House of Representatives and, hopefully, for the people of this country as we break the chokehold of those Middle Eastern countries that have us tied to them because of oil.

The energy independence that we talk about in this legislation is the ability, through the savings, through fuel-efficient automobiles, through fuel-efficient appliances, through fuel-efficient houses and businesses and buildings that the savings that we will be able to have with respect to the use of energy and oil in this country will allow America to make decisions based upon the American interests and not the interests of other countries because we are tied to them because we do not have

energy efficiency in this country.

This is a remarkable piece of legislation for the benefits that it will provide for American consumers at the gas pump, at the department store when they buy new appliances, when they buy new homes, when they go to work in new buildings, when they start businesses in more energy-efficient buildings.

These are the kinds of benefits that we can have because we have renewable energy, we have fuel standards, and we have a new CAFE standard that is a 40 percent increase in the efficiency of automobiles that Americans will buy into the future that will break that tether to that high price, $3.50 gasoline as it is in California. They will be able to go further on each one of those gallons of gasoline. That is what we need.

This bill also creates over 3 million jobs in the green industry that are supported by this legislation that encourages that investment in wind and biofuels and solar energy. Those 3 million jobs, we are 8 years late coming to those jobs, but they are in this legislation; and those jobs will be created in almost every sector of the economy no matter what geographical area people live in. But we need to develop those skills. And I want to thank John Tierney and Hilda Solis for

their efforts on that.

This is what the people who are betting their money on the future of the high-tech companies, people who are betting their money in terms of venture capitalists, that this is where they told us to go to generate the next generation of innovation, of technology, was in energy. And that is what we are going to do, and America is going to have a much better energy future as a result of this legislation.

1:44 PM EST

Jim McCrery, R-LA 4th

Mr. McCRERY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Texas, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Gene Green.

(Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

1:44 PM EST

Gene Green, D-TX 29th

Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend from Louisiana for allowing me to speak.

Mr. Speaker, there is no question this is a historic day. This bill will substantially increase fuel economy standards for the first time in over 20 years, increase energy efficiency requirements, and promote research and development of alternative sources. These are all worthy accomplishments, and the efforts of Chairman Dingell should be commended.

[Time: 13:45]

The only opportunity this Congress missed was to create a balanced energy policy that invests in our energy future without ignoring America's energy needs today. I believe as Democrats, we could have crafted a sensible energy policy that actually enhances our energy security, but that would require bringing all Democrats to the table, including those of us who represent districts that produce energy needed to heat our homes, fuel our vehicles, and generate our economic prosperity.

While some improvements from the previous bill, H.R. 3221, have been made, new additions that have not been thoroughly debated have been included and could have a negative impact on the cost of energy in our area.

For that reason, I must vote against the legislation and hope that we can instead vote on an energy bill that is focused on provisions we can agree on, such as a bill to increase CAFE standards, energy efficiency standards, and that would actually increase energy security in the United States.

I am particularly disappointed in the lack of discussion on the renewable fuel standard, RFS, which was not included in our House bill and was not moved through any regular process in the House of Representatives. It is premature to consider expanding the RFS until our current one is fully implemented, and we run the risk of negative environmental impacts, questionable greenhouse gas emissions, and increased food and energy prices with a focus on corn-based ethanol.

A sensible approach would have been to require RFS to include, prior to taking effect, a clear mechanism to reduce the mandate in case the environmental challenges, technological, or feasibility [Page: H14429]

of supply issues, or projected food price increases were impacted.

This bill includes tax provisions outside of those carefully negotiated earlier in H.R. 6 that actually tilt the competitive playing field for global energy resources against U.S.-based oil and gas companies and discourage the expansion of natural gas distribution systems.

There has been an effort to moderate some of the tax provisions passed early in August, particularly by retaining current deduction levels under section 199 for our Nation's independent producers. I am glad that happened, but I am concerned with the impact on my constituents and their electricity bills with a Federal renewable electricity standard, the RES. Under a one-size-fits-all mandate, Texas utilities may be forced to make payments to the Federal Government to meet a 20 percent target or

a 15 percent target, or 11 percent, now we hear it is 11 percent, ultimately driving up costs for the utility, the electricity users.

I wish Congress would capitalize on this historic moment and actually make it to where we could pass an energy bill that would be bipartisan. We could instead have a more sensible bill that focused on the provisions we all agree on, increase CAFE standards and energy standards, and that would meet with Senate and Presidential approval.

1:47 PM EST

Henry Waxman, D-CA 30th

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me to support the Energy Independence and Security Act. With this bill, we will turn from the past to the future. We have begun the process of adopting energy policies that recognize the science of global warming and the threat to our Nation's energy security.

This legislation will finally give Americans the fuel-efficient automobiles they want, saving families $700 to $1,000 a year. That is money we won't be sending to dangerous regimes in the Middle East.

This legislation will finally give Americans more power from clean, affordable, renewable energy sources, using wind, solar and biomass. We can produce energy here and at home and fight global warming.

The legislation will give Americans more efficient appliances and consumer [Page: H14430]

goods, saving us hundreds of billions of dollars on electricity bills over the next few decades.

And there are some things this legislation will not do. It won't diminish the EPA's authority to address global warming, which the Supreme Court has recognized. It won't seize authority from the States to act on global warming.

President Bush has threatened to veto this bill because it takes away taxpayer subsidies to oil companies and supports new renewable energy technologies. It is time for the President to do what the American people want, not what the oil companies want.

Many of us have been fighting this fight since 2001. With the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other key Members, including Chairman Dingell, we are now finally in a position to enact essential energy reforms. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

1:50 PM EST

Jim McCrery, R-LA 4th

Mr. McCRERY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, this is the third time this year that I have stood before this body to debate a tax bill dealing with energy. Like the debates before, the bill before us today has more to do with politics than policy. It is indeed Orwellian logic to say that gas prices are too high; therefore, we ought to raise taxes on the oil and gas industry. Hmm.

The majority claims that American manufacturing jobs are important, but it is pursuing tax policies that will drive good-paying jobs in the oil and gas industry overseas.

The majority claims to be adhering to PAYGO; yet by clever sleight of hand, they have included an additional $900 million in tax relief for New York that falls just outside the budget window, thereby evading PAYGO.

And the majority, despite its stated concerns about tax earmarks, seems to have a massive one in here of a $500 million tax credit bond program that appears to benefit one single landowner. A rifle shot.

The bill, as has been discussed in the past, creates tax credit bonds that State and local governments can use with little accountability and without any assurances that funded projects will reduce fossil fuel consumption or greenhouse gas emissions.

On top of that, those tax credit bonds would be tradable, setting up a market for tax credits very similar to something that Congress tried back in 1981 and repealed the very next year because of the outcry of the public.

Mr. Speaker, I don't expect this bill to make it through the process. I don't think it will get through the Senate. If it were to, the President would most certainly veto this bill, but maybe then we can go back to the drawing board on a bipartisan basis to craft an energy bill that actually produces energy and reduces costs and protects American jobs. Until then, I urge my colleagues to defeat what is an ill-conceived bill. We have wasted more energy today debating it than its passage would

possibly create.

Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that Mr. Barton be allowed to resume allocation of time for the minority.

1:52 PM EST

James L. Oberstar, D-MN 8th

Mr. OBERSTAR. I am here to address the contribution of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act.

We begin with the Department of Energy, itself, by providing funding to build a photovoltaic solar wall on the south wall of the Department of Energy. It was built without windows or doors to accommodate a solar application, but the funding was never provided over the last 12 years. The project will pay for itself in less than 18 years and then begin sending excess energy into the local power grid.

We continue with the U.S. Capitol. We require the Architect of the Capitol to undertake feasibility studies on installing photovoltaic roofs on two buildings, Rayburn and Hart, and also a feasibility study to capture, store and use carbon dioxide from the Capitol power plant.

We spread these efforts further across the Nation by requiring the General Services Administration to install energy-efficient and renewable energy systems, including compact fluorescent bulbs and photovoltaic systems on Federal office buildings and U.S. courthouses across the country. We also prohibit the Coast Guard from using incandescent light bulbs unless they determine they are necessary for their mission.

The bill also establishes critical targets for GSA and other Federal civilian agencies to cut energy use by 30 percent and fossil fuel use 65 percent within a decade. Within 25 years under provisions in this bill, all fossil fuel use in Federal buildings will be eliminated.

Transportation. We authorize in law a Center for Climate Change and Environment under the Department of Transportation, which has existed by administrative action but has not been effective. It will be under this legislation.

We increase the Federal share for congestion mitigation and air quality improvement highway funds to 100 percent for incentives for States to use funds to finance alternatives for people driving alone.

We authorize $40 million for short line and regional railroads to buy green locomotives, $200 million for track improvements to encourage movement of goods by rail, and a new short sea shipping program to move goods by more efficient means. Short sea shipping is short-haul movement of goods by water to avoid congestion areas. Widely used in Europe, they have a vast network of short sea transportation routes. The bill will promote use of such shipping opportunities on the Great Lakes and on the

saltwater coast of the United States, using the Capital Construction Fund, building ships in the United States, including in the State of Wisconsin, to build short sea shipping vessels to avoid congestion in places like Chicago. We make a real, solid contribution.

1:56 PM EST

Tim Murphy, R-PA 18th

Mr. TIM MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, over the next 40 years, electricity demand in the United States will double. We have to conserve. We have to make strides in efficiency and renewable energy, but we can't depend on renewable power alone. It would take 3,000 huge windmills or 11 square miles of solar collectors to equal the power output of one modern coal plant.

Even if we quadrupled the share of renewable power by 2050, we will still need coal for half of our electricity. To meet America's future energy needs, we will probably need to build 800 new coal plants over the next 40 years: 400 to replace the old, inefficient plants and 400 to meet the growth and demand. This translates to one coal plant every 2 to 3 weeks, even if we start in 2010.

Solving the problem will require clean coal technologies with zero emissions, including greenhouse gases. Let's solve American's energy problems by cleaning up America's abundant energy resources. This bill, however, will tax America's abundant supplies of coal, and that just doesn't make sense.

1:57 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, I recognize myself for 2 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to comment further on some of the very positive things this legislation does in order to move forward national energy policy.

This is truly a landmark achievement. The legislation that we have before the House opens the door to an entirely new era in which we will tap new forms of domestic energy resources and lessen this country's reliance on energy imports.

The measure broadly incents the creation of new alternatives to today's traditional energy resources: from consumer appliance standards, which will be improved across a range of home appliances through this measure, to energy-sensitive building codes; to the capture of waste heat from industry that could produce the energy necessary to generate fully 60 gigawatts of electricity with no additional emissions of greenhouse gases; to the creation of a smart electricity grid that will lead to the

day when consumers of electricity in their home can save money by consuming more electricity [Page: H14431]

during times of low demand when prices are lower; to a major increase in automobile fuel efficiency, for which I want to commend the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell)

for the hard work that he and his staff have put forth in coordination with the Speaker of the House in order to achieve that landmark advance; to the evolution from gasoline-powered to biofuel-powered cars, and to the day when our electrically powered cars will predominate in the transportation fleet of this country.

[Time: 14:00]

In all of these ways, this bill makes a major advance in national energy policy. It will make America more energy efficient and energy independent.

With this bill, we also make an important down payment in addressing the challenge of greenhouse gas emissions. And next year, beginning with work in our House Energy and Commerce Committee, we will take another landmark step in that direction as, in consultation with external stakeholders, and on a bipartisan basis with our Republican colleagues on the committee and in the House, we will structure a mandatory approach to controlling greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, an economy-wide

program that will enjoy bipartisan support and spread the burden of greenhouse gas emissions equally across this economy. That approach begins in the year to come and will make a further enormous contribution to controlling emissions.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of our time.

2:03 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, at this time I'm pleased to recognize for 2 minutes the distinguished chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business, the gentlelady from New York (Ms. Velazquez).

2:03 PM EST

Nydia M. Velázquez, D-NY 12th

Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support this historical energy legislation now before us. This legislation moves us toward energy independence and meets the needs of this Nation's entrepreneurs.

Small businesses are not just the most impacted by high energy costs, but small businesses are also leaders in domestic protection of energy. They make up 80 percent of all renewable fuels producers in this country. This legislation makes them part of the solution. It does this by developing innovative new technologies, reduces carbon emission, increases clean renewable energy production, and modernizes our energy infrastructure. Much of this was accomplished under the leadership of Congressman

Heath Shuler, whose legislation, the Small Business Energy Efficiency Act, is contained in this bill. It's initiatives provide entrepreneurs with increased access to financing and technical assistance to improve their energy efficiency. It also establishes the Renewable Fuels Capital Investment Company Program that will provide capital for small businesses involved in the production of renewable energy.

Mr. Speaker, as Chair of the Small Business Committee, we held over 50 hearings. We have been in every part of this country. And when small businesses talk to us, before they even talk to health care, and not even taxes, they tell us that we've got to do something about energy costs.

This bill is good for consumers, good for the environment; it's good for the small businesses; and, most of all, it's good for our economy. Vote ``yes'' on this bill.

2:05 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I want to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the distinguished member of the committee from the great State of Illinois (Mr. Shimkus).

(Mr. SHIMKUS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2:05 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I want to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the distinguished member of the committee from the great State of Illinois (Mr. Shimkus).

(Mr. SHIMKUS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2:05 PM EST

John M. Shimkus, R-IL 19th

Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, I'm sorry that we're on the floor here today. This year I've yelled on this floor. I've cried on this floor. I've stormed off this floor. So today I decided to be the still, small voice in support of coal, in support of the internal combustion engine, and in support of national security.

Illinois alone is the Saudi Arabia of coal. If you want to decrease our reliance on imported crude oil, coal has to be in an energy bill. It just has to. And to deny that is a failure on public policy ramifications.

I here hold in my hand an internal combustion engine, much maligned on the floor and in the world today. It's 1.5 horsepower. It's lighter and it's easier to carry than 1 1/2 horses. And we have to imagine the benefits to this world that the internal combustion engine has caused, how it's uplifted the poor and the downtrodden. But this bill attacks the internal combustion engine.

And on national security, coal-to-liquid fuel and natural gas, the evidence is clear: the Department of Defense wants to relieve itself of reliance on imported crude oil. They are seeking support of coal-to-liquid applications for jet fuel. The United States Air Force is the number one consumer of aviation fuel. Our coal fields to our refineries, to our pipelines, to our jet planes is the way in which we can decrease our reliance on imported crude oil and protect our national security interests.

This bill does nothing in that respect. Vote ``no.''

2:07 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, I recognize myself for 1 minute.

I can't let pass the suggestion that there is nothing in this legislation that advances the interests of the domestic coal industry in the United States. In fact, there are two very important provisions that address the future needs for coal. The first of these will stimulate the development of carbon dioxide pipelines that will enable carbon dioxide to be transported across long distances from the place where carbon dioxide is separated out of the coal combustion process to the place where it's

injected for permanent storage.

And, secondly, there is an investment tax credit totaling $1.5 billion that is available for companies that will take the step to develop those carbon separation and sequestration technologies. And carbon separation and sequestration truly is the future of coal. In a [Page: H14432]

carbon constrained environment, it's critically important that coal-fired utilities be able to continue to use that fuel and to do so consistently with whatever the limits on carbon dioxide

emissions are. The ability to separate carbon dioxide out of the combustion process and transport it to permanent storage in the ground is the answer that we'll be relying on in future years. This bill helps to make that possible.

2:09 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize for 1 minute the gentlelady from the Mountain State of West Virginia (Mrs. Capito).

2:09 PM EST

Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV 2nd

Mrs. CAPITO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to this no-energy energy bill. We're all for innovation and research for future energy resources, including renewables; but the standard in this bill is a one-size-fits-all mandate that ignores available energy resources and economic needs of individual States.

A mandatory renewable energy standard, such as in this bill, picks winners and losers. It excludes nuclear, hydroelectric and clean coal. Technology is giving us ways to use coal more cleanly and efficiently. We just heard coal sequestration mentioned, but where is coal liquification? It is a proven viable fuel for the decades to come.

Despite tremendous promise of this and other technologies, this no-energy bill excludes our most abundant domestic resource, coal, from our future energy strategy.

A federally mandated renewable electric standard will raise electric prices for all consumers. Think of that senior citizen on a fixed income trying to bear the burden of the new rising energy costs contained in this bill.

The cost of energy impacts every job, every family in West Virginia. The rising cost of gasoline is consuming a greater portion of our family budget. This bill is not the answer.

2:10 PM EST

Rahm Emanuel, D-IL 5th

Mr. EMANUEL. Mr. Speaker, in less than 12 months this Congress will do what previous Congresses have failed to do for 32 years. Today, after 32 years of failure, we can take America's energy policy in a new direction. And that failure was through Democratic Congresses and Republican Congresses alike.

Today this House has the opportunity to pass modern energy legislation that will accomplish a hat trick. It will make our vehicles more fuel efficient, help limit our dependence on foreign oil, and protect our environment, all in one act.

The new fuel efficiency standards will save the American family up to $1,000 a year for gas at the pump.

More importantly, this bill offers us an opportunity to look to the future and prepare for it. Make change an ally, rather than an adversary.

Each and every one of us knows, Democrat and Republican alike, that our Nation consumes too much energy. We know that we are dangerously dependent on an unstable region of the world and we know that this isn't news to anybody here, and we have recognized these facts for years. But when faced with this problem, we, as a country, have turned our back on that problem, hoping it will go away. This legislation allows us to face those challenges head on and prepare for America's future.

Mr. Speaker, the problem will not go a way, and today we have a chance to confront it when faced with the facts and vote to make our Nation more secure, reduce oil consumption, and finally plan for a more energy-independent future.

We can bury our heads in the sand and hope the problem disappears, or we can take action today and prepare for the future and make the challenges of America's future an opportunity for industry, for new jobs, for new businesses and, most importantly, for foreign policy and national security policy that is less dependent on an unstable part of the world.

I am proud that today we are taking action that for 32 years past Congresses failed to meet and challenge. By finally having the fuel efficiency standards that are modern and look to the future, America is taking a step that's important for its security. We will do in 12 months what has failed to have been done for 32 years.

2:13 PM EST

George P. Radanovich, R-CA 19th

Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Speaker, we could spend all day talking about the shortcomings and faults of this legislation, not to mention the process under which it came to the floor. However, the most glaring and ironic dominance from this energy bill is the lack of production of energy.

What we need to be discussing is a sound and realistic energy policy that is going to help America become energy independent. This means increasing domestic energy production by expanding oil and gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf at Alaska, not taxing oil companies $20 billion simply because they're in business. We need to increase research and provide incentives for oil, shale, and coal-to-liquid technologies. Coal is one of the country's most abundant natural resources, and recent

estimates of oil shale in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah could provide us with over 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

What about refining capacities? We have not built a refinery in this country in over 30 years, and our current refineries are operating near maximum capacity.

The bottom line is this legislation falls short of what the American people expect of our leaders in Washington. This Congress has a responsibility to do better. I urge a ``no'' vote.

2:14 PM EST

Chris Van Hollen, D-MD 8th

Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, this bill charts an ambitious, necessary and long-overdue new direction for energy policy in the United States.

After more than three decades, we increase fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, a commonsense step that will save $1,000 for American families at the pump, that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 28 million cars off the road, and by reducing our oil consumption by half, half, of what we import from the Persian Gulf.

We have made in this bill an historical commitment to homegrown biofuels by boosting the renewable energy standards. We are enlisting America's families and farmers to build a sustainable clean energy future and have done so in a way that also protects our environment, like the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

To unleash the economic environmental benefits of our rapidly growing renewable energy industries, we include a strong renewable electricity portfolio standard that will reduce greenhouse gases and save consumers money.

We also include a fully paid-for $21 billion incentive package that redirects $13 billion in antiquated subsidies to our already profitable oil industry toward clean, green technologies.

To those who are thinking about voting against this bill, I would ask what kind of signal does that send to America? That the Congress thinks it's more important to continue yesterday's billion dollars of subsidies and giveaways to the oil and gas industry rather than invest in clean technologies? That we should wait another 30 years before making commonsense improvements in our fuel economy standards? That we should sit idly by while our national security is increasingly undermined by our addiction

to foreign oil? Is that the message you want to send to America?

Refusing to act now would be irresponsible. Moreover, failing to see the opportunities that this bill brings and the challenges we face is contrary to the can-do American spirit that has propelled our Nation from the beginning.

Let's build a better tomorrow. Let's start with this bill and a new energy policy.

2:17 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 1/2 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, we have before us a bill that has not gone through the regular process in the House of Representatives. That almost goes without saying. This is not a conference report. It is the result of some negotiations primarily between select Members of the majority here in the House and the majority in the Senate. It does put this Nation on a different path. It puts us [Page: H14433]

on a path of moving away from market-based, free capital energy production to

government mandates. Now, that may be what the majority of the House of Representatives wants to do, but I don't think it is what the American people want to do.

We have a 36 billion biofuels mandate with submandates for separate categories of biofuels that under current technology simply doesn't exist, can't be met. We already have an ethanol mandate from the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that has exceeded its wildest expectation in terms of spurring incentives for ethanol. In fact, it's been so successful, the price of corn has doubled and cattle producers and chicken producers, hog farmers are having trouble buying feed for their animals because of the

increase in the price of corn.

We have a mandate in this bill for Federal energy efficiency building code standards with the goal by a date certain of having most buildings in the United States on a net basis not using any energy at all. There doesn't appear to be a cost-effective benefit analysis requirement in that particular mandate.

As I have already said, we have the mandate to increase fuel efficiency for our cars and trucks to 35 miles a gallon by the year 2020. It does maintain a separate standard for trucks and cars. We need to thank Chairman Dingell for making that happen in negotiations with the Senate. But this mandate is technically possible to meet. Keep in mind that under current regulations there are only eight cars and trucks in the United States that meet 35 miles to the gallon. We are certainly going

to raise the price of cars and trucks and probably reduce the amount of jobs in this country that are effective in the automobile assembly and manufacture and their vendor components industry. We have appliance standards.

I could go on and on, Mr. Speaker. Suffice it to say I don't think the country wants the government controlling energy, and that's what this bill leads us to. I hope we would vote against it.

2:20 PM EST

Maurice Hinchey, D-NY 22nd

Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi; and to Chairman John Dingell for bringing to the floor of this House of Representatives the most productive and forward-looking piece of energy legislation that we have seen in this Congress now in 30 years.

We are increasingly dependent upon energy from outside of America. In our country, we possess less than 3 percent of the known oil reserves around the world; yet on a daily basis, day after day, year after year, we are using 25 percent of that which is used, and that number is increasing. As a consequence of all of that, the price of energy has gone up to heat American homes, making it more and more difficult for the economic circumstances of families all across America and for transportation.

Over the course of the last 7 years, the price of gasoline has increased by more than four times. It has more than quadrupled over the course of the last 4 years. And a lot of that has to do with the energy legislation that has been produced by the minority party over the course of that time in connection with the White House.

This legislation begins to alter all of that. It begins to move us to a point where we can begin to be more energy independent by focusing our attention and our resources on renewable, alternative forms of energy, particularly solar energy.

It's interesting that Thomas Edison, one of the first energy producers in our country, made the observation that solar energy is the most productive, the most sustainable, and the one that we are going to have to depend on. And he said that an awfully long time ago. It ought to be clear to us now--he was right then, he is more right now.

And that's what this legislation does. It moves us toward energy independence. It allows people and corporations to produce energy through alternative means, particularly solar. That, in and of itself, is going to mean a huge economic improvement for our country and the production of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Let's all pass this legislation. It is very much needed.

2:22 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I believe I have 4 minutes remaining, 1 of which will be used by the minority leader to close. My other speaker, Mr. Blunt, is not on the floor, so I would reserve the balance of my time.

2:23 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman from Texas that on our side, we only have one speaker remaining and then a speaker who will close. And so hopefully your speaker before your closer will appear.

2:23 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, in the interest of comity, the Republican whip is not on the floor, so I yield myself 3 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about the renewable portfolio standard that is in the bill. This would require investor-owned utilities in the country to generate 15 percent of their electricity by renewable means by a date certain. And there was a phase-in so that beginning, I believe, in 2010 or 2011 there is a cascade stair step that each year they have to meet a higher percentage. Information that we have received from the Department of Energy indicates that of the 50 States, there are only seven

that currently meet that requirement. Those are Alaska, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, Vermont, and California. There is another handful of States that come close: North Dakota, New Hampshire, Wyoming, New Mexico, Idaho, South Dakota, Alabama, and Iowa all meet within 10 percent to 8 percent. The rest of the States, which is approximately 40 States, don't even come close, and some of them, like Delaware and Missouri, are at 0 percent.

So you would think that a 15 percent requirement might be doable. The problem is definitional, what is defined as ``renewable.'' New hydro is not defined as renewable. New nuclear is not defined as renewable. New clean coal technology is not defined as a renewable. So it has to be from geothermal, wind power, solar power, or biomass or hydro refitting. Now, when you look at it in that regard, this 15 percent requirement in certain parts of the country is almost impossible to meet.

To compound the problem, the legislation before us says that States that don't meet the requirement can't go out; they can only buy credits to offset that requirement. I believe it says up to 27 percent of their amount that they have to meet. So you are going to put a State like Florida, a State like Georgia, some of the States that are at the lower end of the curve, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Utah, Maryland, New Jersey, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, these States

are all somewhere between 0 to 2 percent. They're simply not going to be able to do it. They are not going to be able to do it.

So while a renewable portfolio standard for electricity generation might seem like it's a wise idea in principle, when you put it into actuality, it is going to be almost an impossible idea to meet. And this bill says ``tough.'' So I would hope that we vote ``no'' on the bill.

2:27 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

On the subject of the renewable portfolio standard, the gentleman from Texas and I are actually in bipartisan agreement. And while I strongly support the legislation before us and have urged and will urge the House to pass this bill because of the many improvements that it makes in national energy policy, I share the gentleman from Texas's concern about the renewable portfolio requirement.

The fact is that there are places in the United States where the renewable resources are simply not found in sufficient quantity to meet that requirement. In the southeastern U.S., for example, there is a deficiency of both wind and solar potential, and these are the two renewable resources that are most prominently used across the United States.

The requirement that is before the House in this bill, frankly, is not broad enough in terms of the list of fuels that it makes eligible to meet the mandate. And there are States such as Pennsylvania that have made eligible a far broader range of fuels.

So this provision really does need more work, and it would be my preference that it's not here. But notwithstanding its presence, this is good legislation and the House should approve it.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

END

2:27 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

On the subject of the renewable portfolio standard, the gentleman from Texas and I are actually in bipartisan agreement. And while I strongly support the legislation before us and have urged and will urge the House to pass this bill because of the many improvements that it makes in national energy policy, I share the gentleman from Texas's concern about the renewable portfolio requirement.

The fact is that there are places in the United States where the renewable resources are simply not found in sufficient quantity to meet that requirement. In the southeastern U.S., for example, there is a deficiency of both wind and solar potential, and these are the two renewable resources that are most prominently used across the United States.

The requirement that is before the House in this bill, frankly, is not broad enough in terms of the list of fuels that it makes eligible to meet the mandate. And there are States such as Pennsylvania that have made eligible a far broader range of fuels.

So this provision really does need more work, and it would be my preference that it's not here. But notwithstanding its presence, this is good legislation and the House should approve it.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

END

2:28 PM EST

Rick Boucher, D-VA 9th

Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

On the subject of the renewable portfolio standard, the gentleman from Texas and I are actually in bipartisan agreement. And while I strongly support the legislation before us and have urged and will urge the House to pass this bill because of the many improvements that it makes in national energy policy, I share the gentleman from Texas's concern about the renewable portfolio requirement.

The fact is that there are places in the United States where the renewable resources are simply not found in sufficient quantity to meet that requirement. In the southeastern U.S., for example, there is a deficiency of both wind and solar potential, and these are the two renewable resources that are most prominently used across the United States.

The requirement that is before the House in this bill, frankly, is not broad enough in terms of the list of fuels that it makes eligible to meet the mandate. And there are States such as Pennsylvania that have made eligible a far broader range of fuels.

So this provision really does need more work, and it would be my preference that it's not here. But notwithstanding its presence, this is good legislation and the House should approve it.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

END

2:52 PM EST

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, to close debate on the minority side, I [Page: H14435]

yield 1 minute to the distinguished minority leader from the Buckeye State of Ohio, the Honorable JOHN BOEHNER.

2:52 PM EST

John A. Boehner, R-OH 8th

Mr. BOEHNER. I appreciate my colleague for yielding, and Ohio State will be in the national championship on January 7. And we look forward to dealing with our colleagues from Louisiana.

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, there has been a lot said on the floor today about the national energy crisis that we face. We know that it jeopardizes our national security, we know that it jeopardizes our own economy and American jobs here at home, and this is an issue that the American people are very concerned about. We have got rising gasoline prices. We have got home heating oil prices and gas prices for this winter that are really going to hurt the American families' budget. So we have a crisis

that deserves our response and our collective efforts. But what we have here today is a bill that was written in secret, written by a handful of people on the majority side in each Chamber that we didn't see until last night. Nobody knows what is in this bill because nobody has had time to read it.

One thing that is in here that I think is something that certainly will be useful is the CAFE agreement that Mr. Dingell and others reached that will give us more efficient cars in the future and done in a practical way to help domestic manufacturers and the consumers in America who are going to have to pay for this.

But we know what is not in it. There is nothing in here that is going to lower gasoline prices in America. There is nothing in here that is going to help American families deal with the heating costs they are going to have this winter. There is nothing here in this bill that is going to increase domestic production of energy. And at the end of the day, if we are very serious about solving the energy crisis in America, we have got to deal with conservation. We have got to deal with alternative

sources of fuel. We have to deal with increased production here in the United States, and my goodness, why won't we talk about nuclear energy on the floor of the House of Representatives of the United States when we know that it is the cleanest source of fuel for our future? But it is not in here.

Now, I did find some other things that were in this bill. Earmarks. Oh, yeah, we have to have earmarks. If we are going to move a piece of legislation, we have to take care of a few people. So I found $161 million in here for the Plum Creek Timber Company's Montana land holdings for native fish habitat conservation. I didn't know that fish lived in trees. We have $2 billion earmark in here from our good friend from New York City to help New York develop a rail line from the JFK Airport to Lower

Manhattan. That's something I am sure my constituents want to pay for.

One of the better issues in here, though, is the $3 billion slush fund, $3 billion of our money that we are going to give to cities and counties around America for green projects, except the definition is so wide that they can do almost anything, like some city can decide they are going to finance Al Gore's speaking tour to promote his book, ``An Inconvenient Truth,'' or maybe Beverly Hills will replace their police cars with Lexus hybrids. Certainly it would count if you look at the bill. We

could be buying some energy-efficient hybrid snowmobiles for Aspen or Snowmass or any of those places. All that would be allowed under this provision. Or we can even use some of this money to finish the rain forest that we are building in Iowa. This is not where the American people want their money to go to.

Although this is not an earmark, what I really liked in the bill was the $240 tax credit that we are going to provide every 15 months for people who regularly ride their bike to work for the purchase, repair or storage of their bicycle. Now, amongst us, I know there is one of my colleagues that would probably benefit from this. I hope he is going to recuse himself when we vote. This is not going to solve America's energy problem. I think that we ought to get serious as a country about energy

independence and saving our future and the future for our kids.

But while we are here dealing with this bill that doesn't frankly do much and will not solve our problem, think about what we haven't done. You know Christmas is right around the corner for some of you that haven't realized it. The majority leader said yesterday that we would be out by next Friday. The gentleman from Maryland yesterday, the majority leader, said we would be out by December 14. Now, first, I wanted to say ``Ha-Ha-Ha,'' but then I began to realize we are close to Christmas so I

thought, well, ``Ho-Ho-Ho'' might be more appropriate. Now there is not a chance that that is going to happen.

We haven't dealt with the AMT problem. We are about to put 23 million Americans under the alternative minimum tax that have never been there before. We have not done anything to fund our troops or our veterans that are about to run out of money. Men and women in the military, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, are out there fighting to protect the American people. We have not dealt with that funding. We have not dealt with 11 of the 12 appropriation bills that should have been done by October but, you

know, we were going to get them done by Thanksgiving, and here it is, December 6, my wife's birthday, RAY LAHOOD's birthday, December 6, and we still haven't done 11 of the 12 appropriations bills. Yet none of this is finished at a time when we ought to be getting serious about getting our work done.

So I would ask my colleagues, let's get serious about energy independence. Let's get serious about what we need to do as a nation to solve the future for our kids and theirs. And until we get serious, I think we should vote ``no'' on this bill.

But I would implore my colleagues to also realize that our constituents are looking for us, our families are going to be looking for us soon, and it is time for us to wrap up our work but get our work finished, because the American people expect it.

[Time: 15:00]