Washington, D.C.– Today, Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the development of clean, renewable energy sources.
The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a 219-212 vote.
The bill creates a “cap and trade” system to limit the amount of carbon that can be produced by power plants, cars and other man-made sources of greenhouse gases, leading to an 83 percent reduction by 2050. The legislation is carefully balanced to transition our economy to sustainable sources of energy by creating millions of new clean energy jobs, helping existing energy-intensive industries transition to a cleaner, more profitable future, protecting all consumers from price spikes and providing assistance to lower income families.
“With this vote to rein in carbon emissions, the United States has taken a big step toward joining the rest of the world in addressing mankind’s impact on our environment,” said Grijalva. “The ‘head in the sand’ approach of the last Administration wasted valuable time when we should have been working to stop harmful global warming. Our existence on this planet depends on our taking action now rather than later.”
Congressman Grijalva, as the Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands of the House Natural Resources Committee, has held a series of hearings on the impacts that climate change is having, and will have, on our lands, waters, and wildlife. He developed with his congressional colleagues a bill to give state and federal natural resource managers the tools to respond and adapt to these impacts, which has been included in the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
Grijalva said, “Any serious attempt to address climate change must include a focus on our nation’s natural resources and public lands. These lands and the water resources they contain are critical to public health and the American economy. The language we included in the larger climate bill will help land managers implement strategies to help mitigate and adapt to some of the effects of climate change.”
While Congressman Grijalva expressed concern over political concessions that weaken the impact of the bill, overall, he praised the bill for positioning America to take its place as a global leader in clean energy technology.
“What the bill means for the U.S. is a revitalized economy, millions of new jobs and increased national security through a reduction in our dependence on foreign oil. Building a clean energy economy is a strategic move. Just as we have been at the forefront of past technological revolutions, America will be the leading innovator in clean energy technology, such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. I look forward to a sustainable future, characterized by environmental stewardship in our individual lives, in our business decisions and in the way we continue to create and shape public policy”.
The bill must now go to the Senate for consideration.