Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, the legislation before us today takes measurable and concrete steps to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Most importantly, it is a piece of legislation that will be signed into law by the President. And as such, it represents a glimmer of hope that we will be able to get beyond the gridlock that has afflicted us for far too long in far too many areas.
Despite the birth pains of this legislation, and there have been many, it is a good bill. Is it a perfect bill? No. But it is good enough to be supported by the Members. More has to be done, and we will do it. This is, then, a good bill. Its core is a series of requirements that will improve energy efficiency of almost every product and tool and appliance that is used in the United States from light bulbs to light trucks. We are requiring a 40 percent increase in the fuel economy of our motor
vehicles, and we are doing it in a way that gives manufacturers the flexibility they need to get the job done while preserving American jobs.
Congress is establishing specific numbers and targets, including new categories of vehicles, in a comprehensive approach to fuel efficiency. Along with the efficiency standards for homes, appliances and lighting, we will be removing from the atmosphere 10 billion tons or more of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2030. That is the equivalent of taking all cars, trucks and planes off the road and out of the skies for 5 years.
This legislation is not the final word on energy security or climate change. We will be needing to do more, and we will. To be specific, I believe that it is possible for us to craft renewable energy requirements for electrical utilities, something which was dropped in the final stages of the bill because of the imperfections of the Senate's work, and a low carbon fuel standard. These are matters we will be addressing next year as we craft comprehensive climate change legislation on which the
Committee on Energy and Commerce is now working. But that takes nothing away from today's achievement, which represents solid accomplishment and an essential downpayment towards reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil and reducing greenhouse emissions.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today, of course, in opposition to the Senate amendment to H.R. 6. And as I've said before on many occasions, I think our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have really missed an opportunity to pass energy legislation that would actually do something to produce and enhance supplies of domestic sources of energy.
The bill before us today does absolutely nothing. It doesn't produce a barrel of oil. And I'm from an energy State. Ten of our States are energy States. I don't see how anybody from energy States can vote for a bill that calls itself an energy bill that doesn't produce any energy.
It's really a sad day. But it's not sad for people my age and the people of the average age of this body here. It's sad for those juniors and seniors in high school and those in early college, those that might be called on to go overseas and take energy away from someone when we have plenty right here at home which we could be mining.
It's sad that we're not hitting ANWR. It's sad that we're depending on Saudi Arabia for 40 percent of our energy and 20 percent from other Arab nations when they don't like us and we don't like them and we don't trust them.
This is a bill that will put our children on troop ships to go somewhere to take oil or gas or energy away from countries when we don't have to. We have plenty right here in this country. But we're turning our backs on the young people of this Nation, and we ought to be ashamed for it.
This is a lousy bill. It's a bad energy bill. It should be defeated. It won't be defeated. But I certainly ask everybody to vote against it.
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, before I yield to my good friend, the next speaker, I want to say a word of gratitude and praise for our distinguished majority leader who leads us so well. Mr. Hoyer is an outstanding Member of this body, and I express my personal gratitude, affection and respect for him.
At this time I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Boucher, who has worked so hard and so diligently on this legislation.
(Mr. BOUCHER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. CAMPBELL of California. Mr. Speaker, I spent 25 years in the retail car business, so I know a little bit about cars and fuel economy. I support this bill because it is an effective compromise that will move us towards less dependence on foreign oil while still allowing manufacturers to build cars and trucks that people will want to buy.
This bill clearly represents Congress's intent for fuel economy standards to be regulated through NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other agencies, like the EPA, may also stake a claim for fuel economy standards. If they do, [Page: H16741]
it would clearly make no sense for them to establish a different standard than the one being authorized by Congress today. The President said so in an executive order in May, and Congress is saying so today.
Anything any other agency may do must be consistent and harmonized with this act. There can and should be only one national fuel economy standard, and this is it. With this standard, consumers can look forward in the future to cars and trucks with the room and performance that they want, but with the fuel economy and alternative fuels that we need.
Mr. DINGELL. I just want to say a word of gratitude to the gentleman from California for the fine work he has done on this matter and how much the country owes him for his labors on this.
I also want to say a word of praise for both Mr. Hill and Mr. Terry who have done a superb job in working for a better piece of legislation.
I want the gentleman to be aware of my personal gratitude and appreciation. I think the country also will have reason to thank the gentleman.
Mr. CAMPBELL of California. I thank the chairman very much for those comments. And as I said, I think what we have reached here is an effective compromise. People will be able to buy cars and trucks if they want. But we will also be moving fuel economy forward.
Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. I thank the chairman for yielding me this time, and I want to join with my colleagues in thanking him so much for all of his leadership on this legislation, his knowledge of the subject matter, and his ability to work out the intricacies in what may be the longest-standing battle in the Congress, and that is on fuel economies. But he has put together a standard that will work for the consumers, it will for the environment, it will work for the auto industry, and
it will work for the people who work in that industry.
And, Mr. Dingell, I want to thank you for that. I also want to join in thanking the Speaker of the House of Representatives for making this her most important priority for this legislation, 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, of efficient automobiles that will change America dramatically.
Whereas, we know, with this legislation, many have said it, by 2030 it will save almost 4 million barrels a day. That is 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. We continue to become more and more reliant on questionable sources of energy, and yet this legislation itself will produce, just the automobile standards will produce half of what we import from the Persian Gulf.
This changes that dramatically. You can find oil in conservation. You can find oil in Detroit. Or you can find it in the Persian Gulf. We chose to go in the smart direction, to think about conservation, not only its impact on energy, but on the environment and on the pocketbook of the American public.
Four million barrels of oil a day saved by 2030, five times the output of the Alaska pipeline today, five times. It is like finding money in the street and oil in the street. It doesn't mean we won't continue to produce, but it means we are going to be very smart about oil production in this country and about the use of energy on behalf of this Nation.
I also wanted to mention that we address the jobs that are going to be created by this commitment to renewables, this commitment to alternative energy sources, whether it is in nuclear, whether it is in coal, whether it is in the automobile industry or in the renewables sources, and that was the green jobs bill to provide training and expertise for people in solar panel manufacturing, construction work, and renewable energy and initiatives. Those are very important. Those were reported out of
the Committee on Education and Labor and were championed by Congresswoman HILDA SOLIS and by Congressman JOHN TIERNEY on that legislation.
This legislation has a potential to create millions of new jobs in new industries of the future in every geographical sector of America, not just confined to the old centers of manufacturing, but all across this country for new high-skilled jobs for the future.
Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania. I'm not opposed to CAFE. I'm not opposed to fuel efficiency. I'm not opposed to biofuels. But, folks, you are overselling them. We have an energy crisis today, not 5 years from now. OPEC told us last week no more oil, get used to $90 to $100 oil. Today it is $92. Today we have the highest home heating costs ever, the highest diesel costs ever, the highest gasoline costs ever. The poor and middle class of this country are struggling to heat their homes and afford
Under this bill, foreign dependence will not decrease. It is currently at 66 percent, and for the last 10 years, for the last 10 years, 2 percent a year, dependence, 2 percent a year, folks, it is going to continue for the next 5 because this doesn't produce energy for 5. If this continues, 76 percent of our energy will be foreign dependent.
The gentlemen from Massachusetts and California stated we will save 4 million barrels a day with CAFE and biofuels today combined. Not now. Not in 5 years, but by 2030. That is 23 years. Our increase in energy need from population growth alone will be greater than that. We grew 5 billion barrel a day in the last 25 years in need for oil. This will have no impact for 5 years. Can Americans afford no relief for 5 years? $90 to $100 oil can sink the economy of this country. Every recession has been
energy related. This country is on the verge of going into a recession because of energy prices. As we conserve and become more efficient, we must have more energy also, produce the Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska, and the Midwest and lessen our foreign dependence, increase nuclear production of electricity, implement clean coal technology, stimulate the production of fuel and gas from coal.
Our growing need for affordable energy is growing faster than the savings in this bill. America expects more of us. They don't want to wait 5 years: high home heating costs, high driving costs, the chance of their job going abroad. We are going to lose a million or two jobs in this country because we have the highest energy prices in the world. Our natural gas prices are higher than everybody, and clean, green natural gas, which you oppose producing, is the best fuel for America's future to get
us by this difficult stage we are in.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need policy that will bring energy to Americans so they can afford to live their lives, so they can maintain the manufacturing and processing jobs, so we can afford to move our goods across this country.
We are in an energy crisis, folks. This bill does not resolve a crisis. It has futuristic things in it. But we are not going to resolve the energy crisis in America. People in America expect more of us, and we should be delivering more.
Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, today is a historic day for America. This legislation blazes a trail by putting small businesses at the forefront of solving our energy problems. It is clear there is no greater obstacle to our long-term economic growth than the rising costs of energy.
With this bill, we are not only addressing this challenge today, but also for future generations, and leading the effort will be this Nation's entrepreneurs. This legislation will enable small farmers to produce more clean energy. Small businesses already make up 85 percent of the renewable fuels industry, and this ensures they remain [Page: H16742]
viable in a global economy. The establishment of the Renewable Fuels Capital Investment Company will only increase the
number of small firms involved in producing ethanol and biodiesel.
Small manufacturers are also expected to expand their efforts in improving energy conservation. With greater access to capital for developing clean technologies, these firms can use these resources to innovate and create designs to enhance efficiency. 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. This will be accomplished by reducing energy usage, encouraging conservation and limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The bill before us shows that meeting the needs of our environment doesn't mean we cannot meet the needs of our economy.
In short, Mr. Speaker, I commend the leadership on this important bill, support its immediate passage, and urge the President to sign this into law.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the gentlewoman from Nashville, Tennessee, Congresswoman Blackburn.
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Minnesota, the chairman of the Agriculture Committee, my good friend, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I would like to yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from the great State of Alaska, former chairman of the Transportation Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, Mr. Young.
(Mr. YOUNG of Alaska asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from California, the [Page: H16743]
chairman of the Committee on Government Reform, my friend, Mr. Waxman.
Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, legislation is like making sausage. When Henry Waxman and John Shimkus come to the floor on an energy bill that we grudgingly will support, that is probably newsworthy in itself.
A couple of things. First, congratulations to Mattoon, Illinois, that has been named as the FutureGen site for the next generation of coal-fired clean emissions plants. I want to put that on the record.
The benefit of this bill is the tax increase is out of this bill. That is a plus. That is less cost to the American consumer. The RFS is out of this bill. That is a plus for the consumer. The RFS was unable to be met and would have been costly to the consumer. The RFS could have been better. It could have been an alternative fuel standard which brought in coal-to-liquid technologies that I have talked numerous times on the floor about, taking coal, using fossil fuels, turning it into clean-burning
liquid fuels. That is a fight we will have to bring to the floor another time. And the CAFE language is an acceptable compromise that industry supports.
The world will continue to demand more energy, not less. We have to focus on more supply. That supply comes from coal. It comes from natural gas. It will come from nuclear power. While this bill doesn't measure up to the demands that we need in the future, it is an acceptable start.
With that, I will support the bill, but continue to come to the floor talking about the importance of bringing coal, nuclear and natural gas portfolios to the energy debate; coal-to-liquid technologies, which takes a natural resource; a U.S. refinery to fuel our war machines of the future, whether that is aviation fuel, whether that is diesel fuel; clean-burning technologies that are available today. The majority is going to have to wise up and know there has to be more supply in the energy debate.
Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Speaker, once again we are here to vote on the majority's newest No Energy Act, and I stand in opposition to that when America is facing the highest energy costs ever. We are here today with a bill that mandates plenty, but has no new energy.
We are told that today is a turning point, and it absolutely is a turning point. Last night in that first turning point we took 2 trillion barrels of American oil off the market. Instead of closing off American jobs, we should be working to encourage American energy companies to expand their operations building U.S. jobs and cutting back on the money we send to the Middle East.
It is a turning point today if you need the muscle of an SUV or strong pickup. You just aren't going to have that if you are a rancher or maybe in the oil and gas industry or something in the mining industry. It is a turning point for biomass, because we in the West have many Federal lands, but we are restricted from taking off biomass from those Federal lands by this bill today. It is a turning point for conservation, because if you own a 20-room house, 10,000-room mansion like Al Gore does,
you might be able to afford the new conservation techniques that are implied and required in this bill. If you are making $25,000 a year, in New Mexico, you probably can't afford that replacement furnace.
Our economy needs an expanded domestic energy supply. We need more clean domestic natural gas; we need to open our lands to renewable energy development, we need to utilize our domestic oil reserves; and we need to develop nuclear energy. And this bill is silent about nuclear energy. We need to make energy more affordable by making the supply greater. [Page: H16744]
Our largest competitor, China, has made that choice. They are building one new coal plant each week for the next 10 years. We are trying to stop those plants here. It is the most affordable of energy. China has doubled their domestic natural gas supply since 2000. How different would our economy be? This is a bad bill. We should turn this bill down and do what is right for the country.
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield to the distinguished member from New Hampshire, the Honorable Ms. Shea-Porter, 2 minutes. She is a valuable Member of the body, and we are glad to hear from her.
Ms. SHEA-PORTER. I thank all those who worked so hard to produce this bill.
Last year, the class of 2006 listened as Americans spoke out demanding that we change direction in our energy policy. Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, understood that America was in an energy crisis, that we were too dependent on foreign oil, that we were unable to carry the message of conservation across this land, and that we had very poor gas mileage at a time when the technology has been in existence for many years. So Americans asked Congress to make this change, and
we were sent to Washington to do that. And I am standing here today so proud to say that this is the day that we are going to answer Americans' concerns.
We have now passed a bill, or will be passing a bill, that is not one that has everything that we wanted in it, obviously, but we have the direction and we have the energy and we have the resources and we have the plan.
We are increasing the gas mileage. For the first time in over 30 years we are finally increasing our gas mileage. We are reducing our oil dependence on foreign nations. We have been forced to talk to foreign nations for our oil. That is the wrong approach in this country and an unnecessary approach. We are increasing biofuels, which will be our future, and we are growing jobs. This is critical for our economy right now. We are expecting that there will be 3 million new jobs across America because
of our green incentive here.
We are increasing our energy efficiency, and we are also convincing the younger generation that conservation is our future, and that our generation is listening to their generation and protecting future Americans. I urge my colleagues to recognize what we have done here and to support every effort of the legislation, and I thank those who brought this to the floor.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished ranking member of the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee, Mr. Upton, of the Wolverine State of Michigan.
Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, there is an old saying that says, in order to travel a thousand miles you have got to take the first step. And this is the first step that we are taking on a long road to energy independence.
This is such an important issue, energy independence, and there are almost too many people to thank for putting this first step together. But I want to begin by thanking the environmental groups and the automobile industry for coming together on a compromise on CAFE standards. For the first time in 32 years, we are actually increasing the fuel efficiencies that car manufacturers must adhere to in terms of making a car that travels on better fuel efficiencies. That standard has been raised to
35 miles per gallon. And this is a very tough standard to attain, but one that the automobile industry says that they can do.
As I said, for the first time in 32 years we have these new standards in place, and I think that is a major, major accomplishment.
In order to travel the other thousand miles, we have got a lot more things to do and we have time to do it to make us energy independent. But I would like to take the opportunity to thank the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who comes from automobile land in Michigan, for stepping forth and making sure that these new standards were to become law. Nothing short of big compliments to [Page: H16746]
him for stepping up to the plate and making sure that
we move forward on these new standards.
This is a new day. This is a good energy bill, one that we are going to pass today. These new CAFE standards are something that we should all be proud of, and I would again like to thank my coauthor on the bill that I introduced, Lee Terry from the great State of Nebraska, for helping us move this piece of legislation forward.
Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise in strong support of H.R. 6, which will help our Nation take a major step towards energy independence. This legislation is truly historic, and I commend all of the sponsors and all who had a hand in bringing this legislation to the floor today.
Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot dig or drill our way out of our energy crisis. We need a better way. We need new strategies to develop sources of energy that will move our Nation away from our reliance on oil and gas. This legislation will benefit our environment by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, our economy by creating new industries and jobs, and our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
I am particularly pleased that H.R. 6 includes the first significant increase in automobile fuel economy standards in a generation. We have the technology to make our vehicles more efficient, and it is past time that we do so. While I wish that the bill retained the renewable electricity standards and the tax provisions that the House passed, I will keep working with my colleagues to see those efforts someday become law in the very near future.
In closing, I commend the many people who put together this historic legislation, and I urge all of my colleagues to support it.
Mr. LAMPSON. I thank the chairman for allowing me to come in and weigh in on this important measure. I am proud today to vote for this comprehensive energy package which includes two bills that I introduced related to enhancing biofuels and also industrial efficiency research and development.
Diversifying our energy supplies will help our Nation lead the way toward greater energy independence. However, we must commit to even more research and development in order to remain the world leader that we have been. We are competing with China and Japan and Russia and many other nations to find new resources and technologies. As we grow our technologies, we grow the availability of resources that we are trying to seek and use. And if we don't rededicate our Nation's know-how and might to
the pursuit of science and technologies, I believe we will relegate ourselves to second-class status in the world.
While this bill will not bring down energy prices overnight, it is an important step in the right direction. Estimates show that these provisions will [Page: H16747]
save Americans more than $400 billion and reduce energy consumption by at least 7 percent by 2030. We can achieve that and more.
Our Nation has reached a critical point, and the time is now for us to lead the way toward cleaner fuel, increased efficiency standards, and much-needed research and development. When we lead, we prosper. Passing this bill is a start. Making it better next year and the year after will ensure our leadership in the world. We can and we absolutely must achieve these significant goals by passing this bill. I encourage support for H.R. 6.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I only have myself to close, perhaps one other speaker who is in the cloakroom, so I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, we have no remaining speakers save my strong desire to yield the remainder of our time to our distinguished Speaker who will close for our side, but I want to say a nice word about my good friend, the gentleman from Texas. He is a valuable Member of the body and a great friend of mine and it is always a pleasure to work with him, even when we are on opposite sides.
If he would proceed to close, then I would yield to our Speaker for our closing remarks.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Mr. Speaker, we don't get elected to come to Congress and be against things. As the chairman of the Energy Committee in the last Congress, I was honored to chair the conference committee which passed the most comprehensive energy bill to become law in the last 20 to 30 years, so it is with a heavy heart that I come to the floor today to oppose this particular energy bill.
I don't oppose it out of spite and I don't oppose it because there is a different majority; I oppose it because of what is in it and what is not in it. Let's talk about what's not in it.
There is nothing in it for coal to liquids. There is nothing in it for the domestic oil and gas industry. There is very little in it for the nuclear industry. So for all of the conventional energy sources that fuel this great Nation, this is basically a no-energy bill.
We are not a have-not Nation in terms of energy. We have the ability, if we wish to, to be close to self-sufficient in energy production for our own consumption in this Nation.
Hypothetically, this bill may do something to reduce the amount of oil that we import, but only hypothetically. We use about 12 million barrels of oil per day that is converted to gasoline, and my guess is, in the year 2020, we are going to use more than 12 million barrels of oil a day to convert to gasoline and diesel fuel. So while it will certainly save some energy, because of the growth, I would argue that we will probably end up using as much imported oil as we do today.
What this bill really is is a recipe for recession. Why do I say that? The cost of fuel is going to go up if this bill does what it is supposed to do, and that is going to be an incentive for recession. The cost of building our homes is going to go up because of all of the new building code restrictions for so-called green buildings in this bill. The cost of electricity is going to go up. The cost of manufacturing our automobiles and our trucks is going to go up.
In 1966, my father's Ford Fairlane 500 got 17 miles to the gallon. It cost about $4,000 in 1966 dollars. That equivalent vehicle today would cost, in the order of magnitude, $25,000. The vehicles that are going to be made to meet this 35-mile-per-gallon standard in the year 2020 are probably going to cost, in order of magnitude, $10,000 to $15,000 more than they do today. That is a recipe for recession.
The cost of appliances is going to go up because of all of the new efficiency standards we are putting in for appliances. And even the cost of light bulbs is going to go up. The light bulbs that light this Chamber right now will be illegal when this bill becomes completely implemented. The incandescent light bulb that you can get for 90 cents or 50 cents at Wal-Mart is going to be outlawed. You will have to pay $8 to $10 for these new fancy light bulbs. That is a cause for recession.
So what happens when all of these costs go up, Mr. Speaker? Jobs go down. Jobs in our real estate and home construction building are going to go down. Jobs in manufacturing are going to go down. Jobs in our automobile assembly industry are going to go down. Jobs in retail sales are going to go down. Costs are going to go up and jobs are going to go down.
And the shame of it is that we could have passed an energy bill in this Congress that we could have all voted for. We could have put some of the things that are in this bill. We are not opposed to some increase in CAFE. We could have had an agreement on CAFE that balanced an increase in supply perhaps by drilling in ANWR so we get more oil production domestically, we get some energy conservation domestically. That is a doable deal. We could have done a coal-to-liquids title in this bill. Vote
``no'' on the bill.
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I yield to my good friend. I don't agree with what he is saying, but I love him dearly and I think even though he is making a bad speech, I want him to have another minute. So I yield him, at this time, 1 additional minute.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. I do thank my good friend, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. We disagree on some policies, but we don't disagree on our love for the institution and the love for democracy.
In closing, Mr. Speaker, let me simply say, as I have already said, this is not a have-not Nation, but the energy bill before us today is acting as if we are a have-not Nation.
We can use the domestic resources. We can produce more energy, and yes, we can conserve energy. We can lead the world as we have led the world in the post-World War II era, but this bill is, in my opinion, a recipe for recession, and I would strongly urge a ``no'' vote. And I thank my good friend from Michigan for yielding me the additional time.
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, with appropriate thanks to her and with great respect for her and appreciation of her extraordinary leadership in this very difficult matter, it is with a great deal of pleasure that I yield to our distinguished Speaker the balance of our time on this side.