December 13, 2007
Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate before voting for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to strengthen America’s energy independence, national security and economy. It was amended after Senate Republicans blocked an earlier version of the legislation from passing by one vote:
Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“The work that has taken place here in the Senate today brings to mind the words of Edmund Burke, the 18th Century Irish statesman and philosopher. Burke said, ‘All government…every virtue and every prudent act – is founded on compromise.’
“Compromise can be frustrating, it can be exasperating, and it can be maddening. But at the end of the day, compromise can lead to progress – and that is exactly what we have today. The last time America raised fuel economy standards was 30 years ago.
“Thirty years ago, we didn’t have airbags, the Internet was a science-fiction fantasy, and the closest thing to a GPS system came from Rand McNally and you had to fold it six or eight times. Today we have hybrid cars, hydrogen cars, ethanol-cars and fully electric cars. And now, after 30 long years, we are on the brink of passing new fuel economy standards.
“That is an important, historic accomplishment, and this is a good energy bill. It will save consumers money, it will begin to reverse our addiction to oil, and it takes a small first step in our fight to turn the tide of global warming. Could this bill have been better? Absolutely. It could have been much better. The Renewable Electricity Standard would have delivered cleaner, less expensive sources of energy to American consumers – and it would have created good American jobs. I am disappointed that Republicans forced it out.
“And I’m terribly disappointed that when the time came to choose sides, many of my Republican colleagues chose the side of President Bush and Big Oil, instead of the side of American families. Our original bill would have taken back some of the oil industry tax giveaways and used that money to invest in and incentivize clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship. Let’s not forget that these are the same oil companies that have raked in an astonishing nearly half-trillion dollars in profits since 2001.
“If President Bush thinks we’ll stop fighting to end Big Oil giveaways – so that we can invest more in clean-energy innovation – he is mistaken. And if Senate Republicans think this is the last they’ll hear of the Renewable Electicity Standard, they are mistaken, too. Republicans may have blocked these priorities for now, but the drumbeat for change is far too loud and far too strong for them to keep blocking much longer.
“If we pass this energy bill – and I hope and believe we will – it will be a win for the American people. It may be a split decision, as they say in boxing – but it’s a win nonetheless:
it will set new fuel economy standards for the first time in 30 years;
it will mean 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel will replace oil by 2022; and
it creates new energy efficiency standards on everything from light bulbs to refrigerators to the construction of new buildings.
“Because of the energy bill we will pass today, Americans will save money every day. We will have to do less business with unfriendly foreign governments, just because they happen to own a lot of oil. And tomorrow’s energy will be cleaner and safer than it is now. But one thing must be clear: this bill is just the first step toward an energy revolution – that starts in America – and ripples throughout the world.”
RenoBruce R. Thompson
Courthouse & Federal Bldg
400 S. Virginia St, Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501
Washington DC522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Toll Free for Nevadans:
Carson City600 East William St, #304
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-882-REID (7343)
Las VegasLloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard
South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV 89101