Bishop On House Passage Of Climate Change Legislation
Fighting for jobs and energy independence, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA02) voted today with the majority of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to approve H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The legislation will help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, create millions of new clean energy jobs, and protect the environment. The vote was 219 to 212.
“America’s dependence on foreign energy sources is a threat to its long-term interests,” said Bishop. Bishop added, “Our dependence on foreign oil prevents us from confronting a wide range of national security issues in countries such as Sudan, Iran, and Iraq. Even the least informed among us cannot help but be struck at the absurdity of waging a war on terrorism, on the one hand, while continuing to enthusiastically spend hundreds of billions each year on oil imports—a frightening percentage of which finds its way into the hands of terrorists and their supporters.” “Moreover,” Bishop remarked, “Our energy dependence places additional burdens on Americans during this economic downturn, as soaring fuel costs impact the transport and price of food and goods throughout the country.”
“All credible science confirms that the earth’s climate is warming,” Bishop continued. “In fact, the global temperature is quickly approaching a level wholly unknown to human beings throughout the course of recorded history,” stated Bishop. “Protecting the health and the survival of the planet is not only a moral concern, but a religious issue as well. My faith tells me that we must act as responsible stewards of God’s creation. We must do everything we can to ensure that the Earth and all of God’s creatures are preserved for generations to come.”
Among the most important provisions in H.R. 2454 is a requirement that electric utilities meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy and become energy efficient by 2020. H.R. 2454 also provides over $190 billion for clean energy technologies such as biomass, biogas, and other renewable sources that can bring new economic opportunities to rural America. The bill includes a requirement for new energy savings standards for buildings and industry. In addition, the bill mandates that major U.S. contributors to greenhouse gases reduce their 2005 output of carbon emissions by 17% by 2020 and over 80% by 2050.
Finally, H.R. 2454 contains a number of provisions to protect consumers from energy price increases. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), under H.R. 2454, the typical American household will not see energy price increases in excess of 48 cents per day. Moreover, the Center for American Progress, after examining the CBO’s projected impact study of H.R. 2454, found that 31% of households in the Second Congressional District would actually receive an average net benefit of $40. The Center’s report goes on to mention that the remaining 69% of those in the Second Congressional District would pay an average of 11 cents per day for their energy needs.
“In recent weeks, I have successfully argued for a number of important changes to the bill that will lessen the impact on consumers as well as farmers and agriculture,” stated Bishop. “H.R. 2454, however, still has a long way to go before it is brought to the President’s desk for his signature. The bill is not perfect, and no one is completely satisfied with all of its provisions. I am hopeful that it will be improved in the U.S. Senate and in the House-Senate Conference. In our zeal for perfection, we must not scoff at laudable progress. Despite the bill’s flaws, I believe that it is vital that America takes this important first step towards economic, energy, and environmental security."