Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats Announce Commitment To Safeguarding America’s Energy Future

Washington, DC — Standing alongside the new Committee Chairs who will be key in transforming the nation’s energy policies and moving legislation through the United States Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today announced the new Senate Democratic majority is moving forward to bring dramatic change to America’s energy policy. Reid, Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, Homeland and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, and Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer announced that their Committees would begin working right away on new legislation to begin to deliver results for the American people. America’s national security and economic prosperity, not to mention the future health of the planet, demand a radically new course. The Senators today made clear their commitment represented a paradigm shift for how Congress will address America’s energy future. From now on, energy legislation will not be a means to prolong the failed policies of the past. Instead, Congress will direct its attention to investing new strategies and new alternative energy technologies to bring about the change the American people expect and demand. This new commitment represents the first—and critical—step toward freeing America from its dependence on foreign oil and the national security threat it represents, tackling the growing problem of global climate change, and developing the new and job creating technologies that will power America’s economy in the 21st Century. A recent study by the nonpartisan Apollo Alliance suggests that a major investment in alternative energy technologies could add more than 3.3 million new jobs to America’s economy, stimulate $1.4 trillion dollars in new Gross Domestic Product, and pay for itself within 10 years. “This country is tired of waiting for action by the White House on energy security and global warming, and the Senate will no longer accept delay,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “Americans are ready to confront the enormous challenge of energy independence, and we in Washington need to make sure they have the tools, fuels and technologies they need. For our economy, for our security, for our environment, we must deal with the energy crisis now. ” “In my home state of Montana we have abundant natural resources: wind, sunshine, biomass, and coal. I intend to aggressively push production incentives for renewable resources through the Senate Finance Committee,” said Senator Baucus. “The Finance Committee will hold a hearing soon to examine the best options to encourage investment in renewable energy. I also will propose again the creation of an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA – E.” “Several important goals will guide our thinking and our action on energy in the 110th Congress,” said Senator Bingaman. “Efficiency will be a major focus. So will efforts to further advance renewable technologies and alternative fuels like biofuels. We will look to reduce the burdens of rising energy prices on consumers, and we will work hard to reduce our exposure to the risks of global warming. Finally, we will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to promote our nation’s energy and environmental security.” “If we’re serious about energy security, we need a bold national commitment to renewable energy,” said Senator Harkin. “Congress is going to aggressively move forward to ramp up production of biofuels and other forms of clean, homegrown, renewable energy. That’s why ramping up renewable energy production will be a critical component of the farm bill we will craft this year.” For the past six years, despite mounting evidence of the threat of global warming, growing evidence of the threat posed by our dependence on foreign oil, and massive profit growth by OPEC and Big Oil on the backs of American consumers, little has been accomplished in Washington to address our nation’s energy security. The new Democratic Congress is committed to changing course, delivering results, and taking America in a new direction.