Rep. Green Votes in Support American Clean Energy and Security Act
June 26, 2009
Washington, DC - Representative Gene Green today voted in favor of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which passed the House of Representatives 219-212.
Representative Green gave this statement in support of the legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives:
“Madam Speaker, today we are set to consider the first comprehensive climate program in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives and I support H.R. 2454.
This bill represents efforts to reach consensus across our diverse membership and produce legislation that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both at home and abroad.
If Congress does nothing, greenhouse gas emissions could be regulated administratively through the EPA without input from Members that represent diverse constituencies nationwide.
I represent the Port of Houston, a petrochemical complex that stretches along the Texas Gulf Coast and is home to thousands of chemical industry and petroleum refining jobs.
We cannot allow the petrochemical and refining industries to migrate out of America. They are vital to our economic and national security, and we cannot outsource this capability.
These energy-intensive industries could be left vulnerable to foreign competitors not facing carbon regulations if we do not carefully craft transitional policies to prevent job loss and strengthen U.S. industries at home.
I want to thank Congressman Inslee and Congressman Doyle for putting forward a proposal to provide 15% of free allowances to emissions-intensive industries to address competitiveness concerns especially in the chemical industry.
If a manufacturing facility is energy-intensive and trade-exposed, allowances will be provided to that facility on a production output basis, providing rebates for both the direct and indirect costs of complying with the climate program.
These rebates will level the playing field relative to imports while encouraging emission reductions.
The bill also helps protect the U.S. domestic refining industry while creating a climate change program.
Our domestic refiners will face a competitive disadvantage with foreign competitors that are not subject to carbon regulations.
U.S. refiners will receive 2 percent of allowances starting in 2014 and ending in 2026, plus an additional .25% for small business refiners. That’s over half of the projected 4 percent of refinery emissions.
This funding will help defray expenses associated with the direct and indirect costs of their stationary source emissions under the cap, as well as help improve the energy efficiency of refineries through technological and feedstock changes.
To level the playing field, foreign importers of refined oil must also pay for the carbon content of imported fuel, as do domestic refiners.
While I believe the refining industry could use additional assistance, and I hope any final agreement does so, this is a reasonable first step to protecting our energy infrastructure and keeping good-paying jobs here at home.
These proposals, however, cannot substitute the need for a strong international agreement with binding carbon reductions amongst the world’s largest emitters, including developing countries.
Thank you Madam Speaker. I yield back.”
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