Washington, DC—Senate Democrats held a press conference today to discuss Democrats’ commitment to creating a long-term strategy that invests in renewable energy, lowers gas prices, makes America more energy independent, reverses global warming and strengthens our national security. While we are proud to raise fuel-efficiency standards for the first time in a generation, we will not be satisfied until Republicans join us to put what consumers need over what Big Oil wants.
“The passage of this bill is a substantial accomplishment for America,” said Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. “It’s been three decades since we improved vehicle fuel efficiency standards and passing CAFE alone is a big step forward for our country. The RFS proposal isn’t perfect, but it certainly moves us in the right direction towards increasing our use of biofuels in this nation. The energy efficiency standards for appliances, commercial and residential construction, and federal government operation are also very significant. I’m disappointed that we were not able to move ahead with a renewable energy standard or with provisions to extend and expand the tax incentives for renewable energy production and energy conservation. I hope in the next session of Congress we are able to revisit both of those issues and enact legislation.”
Said Senator Barbara Boxer: “While it should have been a better and stronger bill with tax breaks for renewable energy and a requirement for electric utilities to use more solar, wind and geothermal energy, it is still a good first step toward a cleaner future for America.”
“Today we passed a much greener energy bill than we’ve seen in Congress in the past, and certainly one that is more consumer friendly,” Senator Maria Cantwell said. “It curbs our addiction to foreign oil, puts money back in consumer pockets, and invests in renewable sources of energy to make America more energy independent.”
Said Senator Tom Carper: “This energy bill achieves three important goals: reduce our reliance on foreign oil, reduce the pollution cars put into the air, and it achieves the first two goals without harming the domestic auto industry,”