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DeFazio Votes for Energy Legislation focused on Renewables, Efficiency

Aug 4, 2007
Press Release

August 3, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC— Today Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) voted in favor of two major energy bills, H.R. 3221, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act, and the tax code focused H.R. 2776, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act.  These bills were approved 241-172 and 221-189. 

"This legislation will help move America toward a sustainable energy future with less reliance on foreign oil.  A future that prioritizes domestic sources of energy like biofuels and wind, solar and ocean power over foreign sources of energy.  A future that prioritizes clean, renewable sources of energy over polluting sources of energy," said DeFazio.  "Our nation and our planet can no longer afford the dig, drill, build and burn energy policy pushed by the President, his allies in Congress and big oil companies.  The sustained focus on clean energy provided by this legislation will create new industries and jobs here at home, combat global warming and begin to free our country from the strangle of foreign energy."   

Importantly, H.R. 3221 included a provision drafted by DeFazio that opens the door to a long term extension of the county payments program when a conference committee is created this fall to iron out the differences between the House and Senate passed energy bills.

"I opposed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was pushed by President Bush, Dick Cheney and the fossil fuel industry.  That legislation provided billions in taxpayer funded subsidies to the coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear industries.  It also increased our reliance on OPEC and other foreign producers of oil." 

The energy bills passed today include a variety of provisions to expand production of renewable fuels like cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel.  Oregon is well positioned to become a major producer of these alternative fuels from our farms and forests.  The bill contains a biomass provision crafted by DeFazio that will promote the use of materials thinned for fuel reduction and forest health to create biofuels or electricity.  The bill will also improve the energy efficiency of appliances; provide financial aid to improve the energy efficiency of small businesses; bolster research into solar, geothermal and ocean energy; create new incentives to improve the energy efficiency of government buildings and those in the private sector, among many other provisions to promote renewable energy, conservation and energy efficiency. The efficiency standards alone in the bill will remove as much as 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2030, more than the annual emissions of all of the cars on the road in America today.

Importantly, H.R. 2776
extends through 2012 the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC), which has spurred investments in wind, solar, biomass and other renewable technologies that are producing energy today.  The bill also makes ocean power eligible for the PTC, which will help promote this renewable resource off the coast of Oregon.  The PTC is critical for the economic viability of renewable energy projects.  The bill also extends through 2016 the energy tax credit for investment in solar energy and fuel cells.