Statement on the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) made the following remarks on the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act:
Madam Speaker, Today our nation takes a historic step toward a clean energy economy. The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act will revolutionize American energy policy, combat climate change, and provide a unique opportunity to revive our economy and create millions of clean energy jobs.
Some key provisions of the bill include a requirement for electric utilities to meet 20 percent of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020, a cap-and-trade global warming reduction plan designed to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020, and a new building efficiency standard requiring new buildings to be 30 percent more efficient by 2012 and 50 percent by 2016. These and other provisions will encourage new renewable requirements for utilities, studies and incentives regarding new carbon capture and sequestration technologies, energy efficiency incentives for homes and buildings, and grants for green jobs.
In my home state of New York, clean-energy investments will create tens of thousands of jobs. A total of $150 billion in clean-energy investments across the country is estimated to result in about $10 billion in investment revenue and 109,000 jobs in New York State. These additional jobs in the New York labor market would have brought the state's unemployment rate down to 4.3 percent from its actual 2008 level of 5.4 percent.
In addition to creating millions of new jobs, the ACES Act will make our nation more energy independent. Under this legislation, we can significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil by promoting renewable energy, including wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass energy. New clean energy and energy efficiency technologies, along with more efficient vehicles, will also help reduce our need for oil.
Now, you'll hear some say that this bill will tax individuals for using energy. The truth is that the energy-efficiency and consumer protection provisions in the ACES Act will actually cut the electricity bill for an average New Yorker by around $5.60 every month. In these tough economic times, the ACES Act is both environmentally sound and economically responsible. I thank Chairmen Waxman and Markey and Speaker Pelosi for their leadership in negotiating this important bill, and I am pleased to vote in favor of it.