Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) released his extension of remarks in opposition to H.R. 6, the Energy bill.
“I rise today in objection to H.R. 6, the Energy bill under consideration by the full House of Representatives this week. Sadly, the energy bill does little to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, decrease rising oil and gas prices, increase our national security, protect our environment, or encourage investment in renewable energy sources.
“In fact, Mr. Speaker, of the $8 billion in tax breaks in this bill, only about 6 percent goes toward energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy, and the rest goes to the already booming oil and natural gas industry that already receives more than generous incentives. And we’re not getting anything back from this disproportionate investment. The Administration’s own Energy Information Administration acknowledges that with this bill, “changes to production, consumption, imports, and prices are negligible.” They even find that gasoline prices under this legislation would increase by between three and eight cents per gallon.
“Clearly, this measure is a short sighted political move aimed at winning friends and contributors instead of what it should be -- a long term plan to ease the energy burden on consumers and make the United States safer and energy independent -- and that’s a shame.
“As a member of the Committee on Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources, I know all too well how energy needs shape our foreign policy and our national security agenda. Our desperate need for oil pits us against China and India. It forces us into a position of funding governments and world leaders who funnel our payments to groups that are currently planning to do us harm. And our need for oil from foreign markets forces our brave Armed Service men and women into harm’s way to protect our vital interests.
“But oil needn’t be the lead driver in our national security policy. We have resources at home like water, wind and sun that, with research and investment, can produce cleaner energy sources and cheaper alternatives, can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and can create jobs and spur spending here at home. Just outside my district, with the water heaving over the Niagara Falls, we convert water into electricity every day. It’s a shame this bill doesn’t address similar options around the country.
“All too often I hear from my constituents in Western New York that too many low-income families, disabled individuals and senior citizens are not able to afford their energy costs. My district is particularly hard hit with extreme cold temperatures, which cause more families to face unaffordable heating costs and put families and seniors at a higher risk of life-threatening illness or death if their homes are too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. I will vote against the energy bill on the floor because this legislation ignores my constituents’ needs and adds to their troubles through higher prices, an increased tax burden, more pollution, and less national security. I urge my colleagues to do the same.”