Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008

Feb 27, 2008
Floor Speech



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   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 5351, and now we are trying to shift from fear to new policy. That's what this is all about. Chairman Rangel deserves ample commendation for crafting this wise bill. I can't totally disagree with the gentleman from Pennsylvania that just spoke. So we should want to turn to the next chapter. We should all feel proud that this Congress is, again, showing that we understand the urgency of the situation.

   New Jersey gas prices have risen 119 percent since 2001. You cannot tell me that now is not the time to get serious about investing in clean energy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. You cannot tell me that ending unnecessary subsidies to big oil companies who make record profits is an unfair course of action. No one suggested on this floor that we are going to move from fossil fuel to alternative, and nobody suggested that here. You would think that, though. And when I listen to those arguments, indeed it is long past time we wean ourselves off of foreign energy addiction.

   This is a homeland security issue, pure and simple. This bill will help provide for alternative measures for the American consumer at a time when families across our land are hurting.

   Put simply, H.R. 5351 reinvests taxpayer subsidies to oil companies already earning record profits into clean renewable energy, creating jobs, making America less dependent on foreign oil, strengthening our national security, and helping to lower energy prices in the long term.

   This bill contains incentives to expand production of homegrown fuels including the creation of a new production tax credit for cellulosic ethanol produced in America. It extends tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel. Likewise, it provides tax incentives to help homeowners and businesses reduce their energy costs by investing in energy-efficient property. I know businesses throughout my State in New Jersey are eager to lower their energy bills, but the costs at the front end are sometimes too much of a burden. These tax incentives ease that burden.

   And I have to make a choice, Mr. Speaker, between the incentives that are provided to the oil companies and the incentives that are provided to those companies who want to produce alternative energy sources.