Laura Richardson

Moving in a New Direction: Clean Energy - May 5, 2009

Laura Richardson
May 05, 2009— U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC
Congressional floor speech
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Mr. Speaker, the 111th Congress is moving in a new direction, a new direction with our clean energy jobs plan. Americans all over this country, whether you are from my home State of California or all the way over in Ohio, whether you are an ironworker or a teacher, whether you are retired or temporarily unemployed, Americans all know that we are facing a crisis, a crisis in our economic plan, a crisis with energy and a crisis with our climate.

The Democrats in this Congress have a solution that's a jobs generator and a money saver that will properly address each of these problems. The Democratic solution is our clean energy plan. The Democratic plan invests in clean energy jobs that can't be shipped overseas, in saving money for families and businesses through efficiency, and ending, finally, our addiction to foreign oil.

Republican opponents simply refuse to acknowledge the cause and the magnitude of this problem, and Republicans fail to acknowledge the change required today for the opportunity of growing jobs in this new economy. The U.S. has lost and is currently losing clean energy jobs and market share to China, Germany and Korea.

The U.S. consumers continue to spend $400 billion, that's billion with a B, a year in the Middle East and Venezuela every time we fill up our gas tanks. Fortunately, Democrats in this Congress are working to fix this decade-old problem.

President Obama and the House Democrats have a plan that gets the economy moving again, retooling manufacturing plants, building wind turbine solar panels and clean cars and creating a smart grid, finally investing in energy-efficient jobs that can't be shipped overseas.

The Democratic plan is simple. It makes polluters pay and helps clean companies prosper so that they can hire more workers and we all know that that's what we need. It's the same American solution we put in place to successfully fight the acid rain in 1990, after which time electricity rates fell 10 percent and the U.S. economy added 16 million new jobs.

It's important to point out that the acid-rain solution was a bipartisan solution. My constituents in Los Angeles County don't want more rhetoric, they want solutions and specifics.

Consider what the Democratic energy plan will accomplish for this economy: Clean energy jobs provisions will create nearly 300,000 new jobs. The efficiency savings measures will create 222,000 new jobs by 2020. The clean energy jobs provisions will result in nearly $100 billion in savings for consumers and businesses by 2030. The efficiency savings measures alone will result in nearly $170 billion in utility bill savings by 2020.

The Democratic plan in this Congress will impact every facet of the lives of Americans. We must take care and craft a bill that will promote new job growth around this Nation, a bill that will have energy infrastructure to keep these jobs and industries alive in the United States for generations to come--we have learned that--and a bill that will promote our national and economic security.

The Democratic energy plan is a blueprint for legislation that the American people have called for, a change in a new direction. I look forward to working with my colleagues to moving America in that right direction and finally to true energy independence.

155 Congr. Rec. H5100. (2009).