Friday, June 12, 2009

American Energy Act ~Bob Goodlatte~

Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s Weekly Column: June 12, 2009
The American Energy Act Will Protect Our Environment, Lower Energy Costs and Create Jobs

Just days ago House Republicans introduced an “all of the above” solution to cleaning up the environment, lowering energy costs, and creating more American jobs. The American Energy Act, which I strongly support, will increase production of American-made energy in an environmentally-sound manner and promote new, clean and renewable sources of energy such as nuclear, clean-coal-technology, wind and solar energy. The legislation encourages greater efficiency and conservation by extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and rewarding development of greater conservation techniques and new energy sources. Finally, the American Energy Act cuts red-tape and reduces frivolous litigation that hinders energy production.

Specifically, the legislation establishes a national goal to bring 100 new nuclear reactors online over the next twenty years by streamlining a burdensome regulatory process and ensuring the recycling and safe storage of spent nuclear fuel. According to the Department of Energy, the safest and most efficient way for utility companies to control carbon emissions is to increase their supply of nuclear energy. The 104 nuclear reactors in America today provide the United States with 20 percent of its electricity and 73 percent of its CO2-free electricity, yet no new reactors have been ordered since 1978.

Additionally, the American Energy Act increases our domestic supply of energy by lifting restrictions on the Arctic Coastal Plain, the Outer Continental Shelf, and oil shale. Revenues generated through domestic production will support innovation in renewable and alternative energy sources, like wind and solar technologies.

The American Energy Act is in stark contrast to the Democrats’ misguided national energy tax which raises taxes on all Americans, kills jobs and will lead to more government intrusion. The Waxman-Markey legislation, also known as “Cap and Tax”, is really an $846 billion national energy tax that will be paid by anyone who turns on a light switch, plugs in an appliance, takes a hot shower, or drives a car. It is estimated that the proposal will raise electricity rates 90% after adjusting for inflation, gas prices 74%, and natural gas prices 55%. All while eliminating 1.8 to 7 million jobs that our economy so desperately needs.

The Waxman legislation raises prices on consumers by hindering the development of traditional energy sources, while limiting the development of renewable energy. Coal provides the majority of the electricity generation in our country, and this bill will effectively stop coal-fired power plants from being built in the U.S. The cleanest way for utilities to control CO2 emissions is to increase the supply of carbon-free nuclear energy although nuclear is effectively ignored by the bill.
America’s economy is intrinsically linked to the availability and affordability of energy. During this economic slow-down we should be adopting policies that seek to rebuild our economy and create more jobs; we need reliable and affordable energy supplies. Unfortunately, the Waxman legislation would only further cripple our economy. Instead of government mandates and bureaucracy we should focus on policies that support technological advances and consumer choices. The bottom line is that we need policies which encourage investment in environmentally sound, cost-effective practices without stifling innovation and setting our economy further back. We need the American Energy Act.

1 comment:

Bryan Kelly said...

American Energy Act, H.R. 2828 in the 111th U. S. Congress (January 3, 2009 - January 3, 2011)

This is a proposed act of Congress which is pro-nuclear energy.

"The American Energy Act establishes a national goal of licensing 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years. With 31 announced reactor applications already in the pipeline, this goal can be achieved -- and it will revitalize an entire manufacturing sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. The bill also streamlines a cumbersome regulatory process by offering a two-year, fast-track approval program for power-plant applications that employ safe reactor designs already approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. " - Wall Street Journal

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