Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) held a conference call this morning to discuss comprehensive energy legislation. This debate is starting because Markey, who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate Change, joined with House Energy, and Commerce Chair Henry Waxman released a draft of their legislation titled, “The American Clean Energy and Security Act”
Pelosi stated that this legislation would put us on “a new path.” She offered praise for President Obama, who put an emphasis in his budget on energy. She also said passing the budget this week is the first step in this process. Pelosi maintains the new energy bill addresses a national security issue, economic issue, environmental health issue and a “moral issue to preserve god’s creation.” The Speaker’s statement and links to the draft documents can be found on her blog, The Gavel.
Pelosi also dismissed the criticism of those who say that while we’re in an economic crisis, it’s not the right time to move forward on energy. She said that is a “False choice” maintaining the way to fix the economy is to grow the new economy and our reduce dependence on fossil fuel.
Pelosi also laid out an aggressive schedule. She hopes to pass the final bill in the House no later than July.
Pelosi also said its passage will require outside mobilization. Congressman Markey echoed the need for activist support because there will be many who try to put up roadblocks to its passage. He predicted an incredibly intense political debate and avowed that U.S leadership needed on energy issues.
A synopisis of the proposed draft was posted on the Energy Committee’s website:
The American Clean Energy and Security Act will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence, and cut global warming pollution. To meet these goals, the legislation has four titles:
* A clean energy title that promotes renewable sources of energy, carbon capture and sequestration technologies, low-carbon fuels, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission;
* An energy efficiency title that increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry;
* A global warming title that places limits on emissions of heat-trapping pollutants; and
* A transitioning title that protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy.
Pelosi said putting this policy into statute, not through regulation, is important so the world knows that this is the law of the land. It is going to be an intense and often complicated debate. But, Pelosi and Markey sure seem fired up and ready to go.