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The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

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Chairman Henry A. Waxman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward J. Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee announced that the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold four days of legislative hearings on the discussion draft of "The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009."

 

This hearing was the first in of hold four days of legislative hearings on the discussion draft of “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.” The hearings will examine the views of the Administration and a broad range of stakeholders on the discussion draft.

Edited by Luke_Wilbur

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Guest ENERGY COMMERCE COMMITTEE

Opening Statement of Rep. Henry A. Waxman

Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

April 22, 2009

 

This week we begin our consideration ofcomprehensive energy legislation, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

 

Since the beginning of last Congress, this Committee has been working hard on energy legislation. We have held 41 days of hearings. Since January, we have received testimony from 61 witnesses. This week alone, we will hear from 67 more.

 

I want to thank all members of the Committee - on both sides of the aisle - for their intensive involvement on energy reform. You have made a major commitment ofy our time and your staffs time, and this is crucially important to our success.

 

I also want to warn you that as hard as we have been working, the pace is going to accelerate over the next four weeks. There are many issues that we need to discuss and resolve between now and Memorial Day.

 

We will be working hard because the goals are so important. The energy legislation we are considering will create millions of jobs, revive our economy, and secure our energy independence. It will also protect our environment.

In February, President Obama spoke to Congress and the nation about the need for comprehensive energy reform. He called on Congress to pass legislation that would transform our economy, protect our security, and preserve our planet. Our job is to meet those goals.

 

We are fortunate today to have three cabinet-level officials testifying before our Committee for the first time: Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson,

and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. They will explain the President's objectives and how we can ensure our legislation meets them.

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Guest ENERGY COMMERCE COMMITTEE

As Chairman Markey and I worked on the draft legislation, our blueprint was a plan proposed by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of industry CEOs and

environmental organizations. We will hear today from six key leaders ofUSCAP: DuPont, ConocoPhillips, Duke Energy, Alcoa, NRG, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. They will tell us how well we did translating their blueprint into legislative language.

 

I want to thank them and all our witnesses for their participation in these hearings.

 

Some have said that true energy reform will undermine our economy. They argue that there is a fundamental conflict between economic growth and clean energy.

That is a false choice. Our economic future and clean energy are inextricably intertwined. The economy that will grow the fastest in this century will be the one that makes

the greatest investments in new energy technologies.

 

Nearly 40 years ago, this Committee passed the original Clean Air Act. Since then, we have reduced dangerous air pollutants by 60% or more. During the same period, our population has grown by 50% and our economy by over 200%.

 

Twenty years ago, under the leadership of John Dingell, this Committee passed the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act. Opponents of the legislation said that stopping acid rain would bankrupt the utility industry. In fact, we cut emissions in half at a fraction of the cost the naysayers predicted.

 

We have a similar opportunity - and responsibility - this year.

 

The legislation we will be considering today has four titles. The clean energy title will spur investment in the technologies of the future: clean renewable energy, electric vehicles, and the smart grid.

 

The energy efficiency title will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and save consumers billions of dollars by making our homes, our appliances, and our transportation system more energy efficient.

 

The global warming title will create a market-based system for reducing carbon emissions to safe levels.

 

And the final title will provide our industries, our workers, and American families with the support they need during the transition to a clean energy economy.

 

It is no longer a question whether we will act to reduce CO2 emissions. The endangerment finding released by EPA last week answers that issue. The real question is

whether we will do so in a way that strengthens our economy, creates new jobs, and ends our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

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Guest Greenzen

The stimulus will allow those installing solar power to apply for a cash grant instead of a tax credit and get the money back in 60 days. These grants will bring investors back into solar and wind, ensuring strong growth.

 

Businesses that manufacture and install renewable energy systems will be big winners as the stimulus kicks in, potentially creating millions of jobs and thousands of businesses across the country.

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Guest Congressman Roy Blunt

Imagine paying an additional $3,000 hidden tax every year. Unfortunately, you might not have to imagine that extra burden because the last thing Congress did before going home for the Easter holiday was to pass a budget that spends too much, borrows too much and taxes families, small businesses and farmers too much.

 

This tax was initiated in the budget blueprint President Obama sent to Congress. He proposed adopting a program called “cap and trade” where the government sets an arbitrary limit on emissions, but creates a new market for manufacturers going over their emission allotment to purchase “offsets.” That new cost will be passed directly to the consumer – you and me – every time we flip on a light switch, turn up the thermostat, fill up our gas tank or purchase an American-made product.

 

Democrats are attempting to sneak in this new energy tax using a parliamentary tactic called reconciliation that allows just a few Members of Congress to create policy behind closed doors.

 

When Senators and Congressmen negotiate a final version of the budget it’s increasingly likely this tax will be included.

 

I bet you have a better use of that money in mind than paying new taxes. Maybe something like sending a child to college, buying a new car or saving for that first house. But if the Democrats’ budget is signed into law – a budget I voted against in the House – that $3,000 will go directly to this new, regressive energy tax.

 

You don’t have to take my word on how much this new so-called energy policy will cost each Missouri household. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study of similar cap and trade policies estimates the costs passed on to consumers because of offset purchases are about $250 a month, $3,000 a year.

 

Unfortunately, the damage this bill does to our economy doesn’t stop with increasing taxes. American manufacturers could be forced out of business because of the unfair advantage new government regulations in this provision give foreign companies.

 

This type of energy policy will be even more damaging to states like Missouri where almost 90 percent of electricity is coal generated and where consumers will pay even more than the average American under the Democrat plan.

 

Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the ultimate goal of protecting our environment. I just think we need to look at the real ramifications this will have on our already struggling economy. Our nation does, in fact, need a new energy policy, but we need one similar to the all of the above strategy I advocated for last year – more conservation, more domestic production and more reliance on alternative fuels. Not a new tax under the ruse of an energy plan.

 

Our only hope for blocking this troubling tax is in the hands of about a dozen Democratic Senators that have expressed reservations about using this reconciliation budget maneuver. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), a senior Democrat who wrote budget rules in the 1970s, said, “Americans have an inalienable right to a careful examination of proposals that dramatically affect their lives. … I am certain that putting . . . climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted.”

 

He even characterizes the whole reconciliation process of skirting the normal Senate procedure as, “an undemocratic disservice to our people,” which “essentially says ‘take it or leave it’ to the citizens who sent us here to solve problems, and … prevents members from representing their constituents’ interests.” That’s a pretty harsh charge.

 

Unfortunately, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, doesn’t share Senator Byrd’s opinion. Senator Reid expressed support for using this shortcut maneuver to push through a cap and trade program. The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has joined him in supporting this legislative cram-down.

 

Congress shouldn’t even be considering a new energy tax when too many families are worried about paying their current bills and saving for the future, much less putting it on a fast track to limit debate and almost assuring its passage.

 

Congress will be voting on the final budget very soon. While the Democratic majority in the House is pretty much guaranteed to support a budget allowing Congress to pass an energy tax with little debate, there are a number of Democrats in the Senate – including Senator Claire McCaskill – who are considering doing the right thing and protecting Missourians from new taxes.

 

These Senate Democrats are facing intense pressure from their party to vote for this final budget. They need to hear your voice and need your support in opposing this new energy tax.

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Guest United

Under a clean energy title, the draft legislation contains provisions to:

 

• Create a renewable electricity requirement

 

• Develop carbon capture and sequestration technologies

 

• Establish a low-carbon transportation fuels standard

 

• Facilitate the deployment of a smart grid

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Guest Susan Turnbull

Vice President Biden celebrated Earth Day in Maryland. While he was here, he announced $300 million in recovery funding to expand the nation's fleet of clean, sustainable vehicles and the fueling infrastructure necessary to support them.

 

Why did Vice President Biden choose Maryland? Because Maryland has become a national leader in protecting our environment and growing the green economy of tomorrow.

 

During this year's legislative session, Governor O'Malley and the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help our state grow in more sustainable ways, and continue restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Since taking office, Governor O'Malley has signed Clean Cars legislation, created the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund, launched BayStat and made a commitment to convert the entire MTA bus fleet to hybrid-electric buses before 2014.

 

Earlier this month, Governor O'Malley announced the Marylanders Plant Trees initiative to plant 1 million trees across the state before 2011.

 

And on Tuesday, he announced the Children's Outdoors Bill of Rights, an effort to ensure that all of our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to enjoy, appreciate and learn about the natural treasures throughout our beautiful state.

 

Over the course of Earth Week, Democrats from across the state joined Governor O'Malley's efforts to preserve our state's natural beauty for families of future generations to enjoy. Senator Barbara Mikulski is hosting Chesapeake Bay community leaders to discuss protection strategies for the Bay. Senator Ben Cardin hosted a field hearing on the health of the Bay. Lt. Governor Anthony Brown joined community leaders and officials from the Maryland Port Administration to open up the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center.

 

Because of Maryland Democrats, our state is leading by example and preserving the environment and our Bay for future generations.

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Guest Always Red_*

Government programs were not responsible for the great strides we have made in shifting to cleaner energy sources. For example, the discovery and use of oil helped end the slaughter of whales for whale oil. A century ago, our streets were littered with horse manure. Today our streets are manure-free not because of improved street cleaners, but because people stopped using horses and started using electric-powered street cars, diesel powered buses, and gasoline powered cars.

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Guest Robert J. Glass

Targeted social distancing to mitigate pandemic influenza can be designed through simulation of influenza's spread within local community social contact networks.

 

The critical importance of children and teenagers in transmission of influenza is first identified and targeted.

 

For influenza as infectious as 1957–58 Asian flu (≈50% infected), closing schools and keeping children and teenagers at home reduced the attack rate by >90%. For more infectious strains, or transmission that is less focused on the young, adults and the work environment must also be targeted. Tailored to specific communities across the world, such design would yield local defenses against a highly virulent strain in the absence of vaccine and antiviral drugs.

 

Contact Network

 

A network is created by specifying groups of given sizes (or range of sizes) within which persons of specified ages interact (e.g., school classes, households, clubs). The average number of links per person within the group is also specified because cliques form or are imposed (e.g., seating in a classroom). This number is used to construct a within-group network that can take various forms. We used fully connected, random, or ring networks for each group. Random networks are formed by randomly choosing 2 persons within the group and linking them. This process is repeated until the number of links within the group yields the specified average (each person will have a different number of links). The ring is formed by first placing persons next to neighbors and linking them to form a complete circle. Additional links are then made to next nearest neighbors symmetrically around the ring.

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