Friday, January 11, 2008

RI Congressman seems to get it.

Due to submiting my opinion to my representatives in congress, I received this response from the state representative to the US Congress. This marks the second time I've received a correspondence (last time from Senator Whitehouse).

And ding, he hits the 2 things that got stripped from the final bill - Renewable Portfolio Standards and the tax incentives for alternative energy (no mention of the tax subsidies for oil).
Dear Mr. Moritz:

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about energy and the environment. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to correspond with you.

In recent years, the U.S. has experienced a growing need for energy. Maintaining a reliable and affordable supply of power is essential to American businesses and consumers, especially as we face high energy costs. I have heard from many Rhode Islanders who are alarmed by rising energy costs, widespread evidence of climate change and our overdependence on foreign oil sources. In response, I am working with my colleagues on the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and members of the House Leadership to enact a forward-thinking energy policy.

I am proud that Congress is taking bold steps toward energy independence. One of the main priorities of the Democratic Leadership has been establishing a new energy policy that guarantees access to affordable power, encourages conservation efforts and pursues increased use of environmentally responsible and renewable sources of energy. With my strong support, in August 2007, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3221, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security and Consumer Protection Act, a comprehensive bill that includes programs to invest in groundbreaking technologies, create the necessary infrastructure for alternative fuels and ensure that our workforce is properly trained for the economy of the future. I have long advocated for exploring the possibilities offered by alternative fuels such as ethanol and hydrogen, investing not only in more research to lower production costs, but also in the infrastructure needed to make them more readily available to the consumer. For this reason, during consideration of H.R. 3221, I spoke out in support of an amendment offered by Congressman Tom Udall of New Mexico that would require electricity suppliers to derive 15% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. With my support, the Udall amendment passed 220-190.

As the House and the Senate negotiated a compromise between their respective versions of the energy legislation, I worked with my colleagues to advocate for inclusion of innovative programs and common-sense solutions to improve energy efficiency. On December 18, 2007, the House passed the final compromise bill, H.R. 6, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act, by a vote of 314 - 100. On December 19, 2007, President Bush signed it into law. While I wish that the bill had retained the Udall Renewable Portfolio Standard and the tax incentives that the House passed, I will keep working to see those efforts become law. Regardless, I am proud that this legislation represents a landmark step forward in our nation's energy policy. I am particularly pleased that H.R. 6 includes the first significant increase in automobile fuel economy standards in more than three decades, an initiative for which I have long been a vocal advocate. This legislation finally makes it possible for us to harness the technology we have to reduce the amount of oil used for fuel by automobiles as much as 10% by 2020.

I am proud that the 110th Congress is taking bold steps toward energy independence, and I will continue to support energy policies that enhance national security, create American jobs and protect our environment. Thank you again for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to share your concerns on other pressing issues as the legislative session continues.


Jim Langevin
Member of Congress
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