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Congressman Higgins Supports Historic Energy Legislation

Jun 26, 2009
Press Release

Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted to approve H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, a bill that will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs in the clean energy sector through essential changes in our energy policy. 

Congressman Higgins addressed why Western New York is uniquely positioned to benefit.   “This bill creates vast potential for new business investment and job growth by encouraging demand for clean energy infrastructure.  No area of the country is better positioned to attract these jobs than Western New York, a region that once had substantial manufacturing and still has the infrastructure left over for green industries to move in and replace the empty factories.  One example that speaks to the possibilities is the 220 acre abandoned Brownfield site which formerly housed Republic Steel and was transformed into a staging area for windmill construction and transshipment site for windmill components. This bill will help us replicate that story vacant factory by vacant factory.”

“This change is long overdue,” Higgins added.  “The best thing to happen to Western New York was the first alternative energy revolution 100 years ago, when we figured out how to turn our water into energy.  The industry that hydropower spurred then provides us with the industrial infrastructure now to take advantage of the next alternative energy revolution and bring tremendous job growth back to Western New York.”  

This legislation will cut our use of foreign oil by more than 5 million barrels a day in 2030.  Decreasing demand and dependence on oil decreases gas prices for consumers and better positions the US on a world stage. 

“Reducing our dependence on oil is an important step toward reducing gas prices, but that’s not the only benefit,” said Higgins. “The high demand for oil is beneficial to rogue countries like Iran because it provides the financial capital that allows them to remain isolated from economic pressures for political reform. This bill includes concrete steps that will reduce the worldwide price of oil, and taking these steps allows us to combat these rogue countries in the most effective way possible.”

This legislation is important and necessary because:

Jobs & the Economy

  • It is estimated to create 1.7 million jobs.

  • New York could see a net increase of about $10.0 billion in investment revenue and 109,000 jobs (Center for American Progress).

  • It will save New Yorkers $5.58/month on electricity costs (Natural Resources Defense Council).

Reducing our Dependence on Foreign Oil


  • The bill allocates funding to produce fuel-efficient vehicles; as a result Americans will have lower gas costs. Cleaner vehicles will actually save New Yorkers an average of $8/month on gas prices. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

  • We currently transfer wealth - $400 Billion a year – to the Middle East and Venezuela to buy oil. Our energy bill will increase $420 billion a year ($3,500 annually per family) for next 5 years if we do not end our dependence on oil. 

  • This legislation will cut the use of oil by 5 million barrels per day by 2030, equivalent to what we import form Mideast and Venezuela.  So this puts us on track to end the practice of borrowing from China to send our money to the Middle East. 

  • This bill could save approximately $1,050 per household by 2020 and $4,400 per household by 2030 (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)