Floor Statement in Opposition to H.R. 6213

Sep 14, 2012 Issues: Energy

Mr. Chairman,

The bill before the House is not a serious effort at legislating.  Instead, once again, the Republican Majority is using Floor time to try and score political points.

Let’s be honest about what’s going on here.  The legislation should include a disclaimer: “This bill supports the partisan, political interests of House Republicans, who approve this message.”

Seldom has the nation faced such a backlog of serious problems, yet the Republican Leadership squanders time on political messaging bills like this one.

Double standard.  Every year the taxpayers shell out $4 billion in unjustified subsidies to the Big 5 oil companies.  Two years ago, BP’s Deep Water Horizon well spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  Do Republicans come to the Floor with a “No More BP Spills” bill?  Do they take away the unjustified subsidies to Big Oil?  No.

Two years ago in my home state of Michigan, the Embridge oil pipeline spilled 800,000 gallons of heavy crude and fouled the Kalamazoo River.  Do House Republicans come to the Floor with a “No More Embridge Pipeline Spills” bill?  No.  Instead they work to rush through the permitting on the Keystone pipeline.

Hypocrisy.  Republicans like to decry clean energy grants and loan guarantee programs when many House Republicans, including several Committee Chairmen and their party’s nominee for vice president, have themselves written to the Obama Administration to express support for taxpayer support for projects that benefit companies in their states.

Let’s be clear.  The bill before the House is not about improving U.S. energy policy or creating jobs.  

Instead of wasting time on a bill that will never become law, we need to invest in renewable energy, and take the steps necessary to allow U.S. companies to compete with those in China and other nations to supply the world’s growing demand for wind turbines, solar panels, and advanced batteries.

We should renew and expand the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit that supports American-made clean energy manufacturing. By any measure, 48C was wildly successful.  Republicans should join us in extending it. 

We should also renew without delay the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, which has spurred clean, renewable, domestically-produced wind energy across the country – and the jobs that go with it.  American jobs are on the line here.  37,000 jobs will be lost next year if the credit is allowed to expire.  

It is time for congressional Republicans to stop their political games and get to work on legislation to spur investment, expand clean energy manufacturing, and put Americans back to work.