September 30, 2009

CARDIN JOINS IN INTRODUCTION OF THE CLEAN ENERGY JOBS AND AMERICAN POWER ACT

America's national security, economic security and environmental security depend on our achieving energy independence.

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), called today for swift Senate action on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. Senator Cardin today joined EPW Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and SFRC Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), as well as leaders from the business, faith, national security, energy and environmental community, and local and state officials, in announcing key provisions of the legislation.

"Today, we have moved one step closer to a new day in this country when government investment in clean energy and new, high tech infrastructure brings us to a long sought goal: energy independence. Too many of the fossil fuels we burn come from other countries, many of whom are not friendly to America or the values we cherish.  And the fossil fuels we burn to drive our cars; power our businesses and homes; and even to heat and treat our water are polluting our air.  Our dependence puts us at the mercy of countries that have the ability to upset our economy and our national security by disrupting the flow of fuel, while pollution is making our children sick and raising our planet's temperature.
 
"I support clean energy legislation that will help end our dependence on foreign oil, create American jobs by investing in our energy and transportation infrastructure, and make our air and water cleaner for our children by making polluters pay for the damage they are causing.
 
"One of the most important parts of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act is the significant investment in a new, cleaner transportation infrastructure.   We have got to change the way we move ourselves and our goods around this country.   We need to diversify the fuels we use to power our vehicles to include ethanol refined from algae, switch grass and other sources of biomass - sources that do not have a direct effect on consumer food prices. Plug-in electric vehicles powered by renewable energy and hydrogen fuel cells will also reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But reducing the transportation sector's carbon footprint is not just about fuels.
 
"Every year, U.S. public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of CO2 and 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline.  Experts agree that increased availability and accessibility of public transportation will lead to even more significant carbon emission reductions and gasoline savings. If we are going to reach our targets for energy independence, cleaner air and a cooler planet, we must invest in public transportation in this country.  This bill sets aside funds specifically for dramatic improvements to our nation's transit systems.  Train and bus tragedies in recent months in the DC metropolitan area demonstrate the desperate need for new investment so that we can be confident that our transit systems are a safe and reliable solution to our pollution and energy security problems."