House Bill Provides Leadership on Renewables, Efficiency, Marks Beginning of Serious Debate on Energy Independence, Global Warming

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) praised the passage of a forward-looking energy package today in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will increase the use of renewable energy, reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, and decrease global warming pollution. The final vote was 241 in favor, 172 against.
The bill now moves to a House-Senate conference. Rep. Markey will continue his efforts to ensure that a 35 mile per gallon fuel economy standard, absent in the House version of the bill but present in the Senate version, will be included in the final version of the bill.

Rep. Markey is the Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which has held nearly a dozen hearings over the past few months to highlight America’s need to address the twin challenges of energy security and global warming.

Below is the statement of Chairman Markey:

“Today we are unleashing the pent-up demand of the American people for a new direction on energy independence and global warming. They have demanded that we move in a new, clean, efficient, renewable energy direction for the 21st century, and Democrats in Congress have delivered.

“In particular I am pleased that the House passed a strong renewable electricity standard this afternoon. Right now, 2.3 percent of the electricity we use in this country comes from non-hydro renewable sources. Requiring more clean, renewable energy is a necessary and effective response to the urgency of our global warming and energy dependence problems.

“America has been hobbled by our dependence on foreign oil for too long. In 1986, we imported 27 percent of our oil, today we import 60 percent of our oil. Today we begin the effort to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our country, a spirit that, now freed, can capture American innovation to solve our greatest energy challenges.

“Global warming is not just a problem for the United States, but for the whole world. By using more renewable energy, and making our country run more efficiently, this legislation begins the effort to cut heat-trapping emissions. We must continue that fight this fall, passing comprehensive global warming legislation that will cap emissions and reduce them by 80 percent or more by 2050.

“These were the debates that were missing here in Congress for too long, but today we turn debate into action. This new energy future is what the American people want, and America taking action on clean energy and global warming is what the world has been waiting for. America is unleashing its technological genius today, and as a result, making it possible for the rest of the world to gain access to these technologies.

“As this debate moves to negotiations between the House and Senate over the specifics of the final energy bill, I look forward to working with all parties to ensure that the final energy bill this Congress sends to the president contains a strong 35 miles per gallon fuel economy standard.”



August 4, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836
Eben Burnham-Snyder (Select Committee), 202.225.4081