Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today cheered the House passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act (H.R. 6) as a leap forward in using local innovation to help solve the global warming crisis.
“This is a serious, groundbreaking step towards reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil,” Lantos said. “I could not be more proud of my colleagues for supporting a forward-looking piece of legislation that meets the tremendous challenge of combating climate change head-on. At long last, we have repealed the tax breaks for Big Oil and invested that money where it belongs: in new technologies that will yield clean, renewable energy.”
The legislation contains domestic provisions that will increase the efficiency of American vehicles and require 15 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources, among other mandates. The international portion, which Lantos wrote, focuses on major emitters such as China, India and Brazil and supports energy export policy and assistance programs to promote clean-energy production in even the poorest countries.
“This bill is the ultimate manifestation of the time-tested adage: think globally, act locally,” Lantos said. “If we are to reduce our enormous global carbon footprint, we must start in the San Francisco Bay Area. I could not be more proud of the work taking place on the Peninsula, with companies and individuals working on cutting-edge technologies in renewable energy production and consumption. The burgeoning ‘Green Economy’ in the Bay Area is a blueprint for how a holistic approach can make renewable energy work.”
The Lantos provisions in the Energy Independence and Security Act create opportunities for U.S. companies involved in clean and efficient energy technologies, including many in the Bay Area, to export their products and services to countries around the world. Whether through participation in Department of Commerce trade missions or by working with an International Clean Energy Foundation that acts as a clearinghouse for ideas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the legislation will provide additional opportunities to explore international markets for innovative ideas.
The legislation, which passed by a vote of 235 to 181, is an ambitious package designed to put the United States on a path towards energy independence while lowering energy costs, creating new jobs, and starting to reduce global warming. Lantos is the author of international portions of the bill, included in Title IX.