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Statement of Lisa P. Jackson Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Legislative Hearing on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act / Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works / October 27, 2009
Release Date: 10/27/2009
Contact Information: EPA Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-564-4355
Chairman Boxer, Ranking Minority Member Inhofe, and members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify about the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
I last appeared before this Committee on July 7. Since then, this Administration has, under President Obama’s leadership, taken unprecedented steps to decrease America’s dependence on oil, put our nation in the lead of the 21st Century energy economy, and reduce the greenhouse-gas pollution that threatens our children and grandchildren.
On September 15, for example, Secretary LaHood and I jointly announced coordinated Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency rulemakings to increase the fuel efficiency and reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions of cars and light-duty trucks of model years 2012 through 2016. The rules will reduce the lifetime oil consumption of those vehicles by 1.8 billion barrels. That will mean eliminating more than a billion barrels of imported oil, assuming the current ratio of domestic production to imports does not improve. At today’s oil prices, we are talking about saving 78 billion dollars on buying oil from other countries. In the process, the rules will eliminate nearly a billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas pollution.
Each of my colleagues here can describe other steps that this Administration has already taken to make America’s economy stronger by getting it running on clean energy.
Even as the President and the members of his Cabinet move forward under existing authority, we continue urging Congress to pass a new clean-energy law. Only new legislation can bring about the comprehensive and integrated changes that are needed to restore America’s economic health and keep the nation secure over the long term.
This Committee held its July 7 hearing shortly after the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act. So I took the opportunity to echo President Obama’s request that the Senate demonstrate the same commitment that we had seen in the House to building a clean-energy foundation for a strong American economy.
The introduction of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act on September 30 shows that the Senate is responding to the President’s call to action. I commend you, Madame Chairman, and Senators Kerry and Kirk, for introducing that bill. I applaud the many other Senators, including members of this committee, who contributed meaningfully to the introduced legislation. And I thank Senator Graham for joining with Senator Kerry in a recent statement that reminds us all that giving America control over its own energy destiny can and should be a bi-partisan mission.
Earlier this year, EPA ran the major provisions of the House clean-energy legislation through several economic computer models. When it comes to the specifications that the models can detect, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act is very similar to the House legislation. Nevertheless, EPA has examined the ways in which the Senate bill is different and determined which of the conclusions reached about the House-passed bill can confidently be said to apply to the Senate bill as well.
EPA delivered the result of that inquiry to the Committee last Friday, and the members can review the report in detail. But let me just state three of the projections about the House bill that EPA feels confident also apply to the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
First, the legislation would transform the American economy from one that is relatively energy inefficient and dependent on highly-polluting energy production to one that is highly energy efficient and powered by advanced, cleaner, and more domestically-sourced energy.
Second, the legislation would bring about that transformation at a cost of less than 50 cents per day per American household in 2020.
Third, the finding that regional cost differences would be small applies to the Senate bill just as it did to the House legislation.
The American people have waited decades while our nation has become increasingly dependent on foreign energy sources; while our global competitors create the clean energy jobs of tomorrow; and while we fail to safeguard the wellbeing our children and grandchildren.
I think Americans want reform that harnesses the country’s can-do spirit. I think they want to fuel long-term economic recovery with a wise investment that sparks a clean-energy transformation in our economy and that protects our children and grandchildren.
The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act is a significant milestone on the road to that reform. There of course remains road ahead, and there are many Senators on and off this Committee who have tremendous value to add. Thank you for your continuing work, and for inviting me to testify today.