U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) in today’s Budget Committee hearing on the Senate version of the president’s budget offered a clean-energy amendment that would put America on a path toward energy independence without adding to the deficit or raising taxes. Sen. Alexander made the following remarks as he offered the amendment:
• “The president’s budget would impose on the American people a $640 billion energy tax—a national sales tax, in effect, on electricity and gasoline prices in the middle of a recession.”
• “My amendment would show that we can have an aggressive clean-energy policy without new taxes and higher prices in the middle of a recession. It creates a deficit-neutral reserve fund to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by increasing clean-energy development, expanding domestic production, and enhancing energy conservation and efficiency.”
• “Majority Leader Reid said today he was willing to consider putting into reconciliation the $646 billion national sales tax on energy proposed by the president’s budget. It’s not in Chairman Conrad’s budget, and I appreciate that. Senator Byrd, who authored the reconciliation process, has said to do such a thing would be an ‘outrage.’”
Alexander’s amendment would encourage Congress to enact legislation to:
• Construct at least 100 new nuclear plants by 2030.
• Electrify at least half our cars and trucks within the next 20 years.
• Capture carbon dioxide from existing coal plants.
• Provide for energy research to make solar power cost-competitive with power from fossil fuels, and to assure the safe processing and storage of nuclear waste.
• Push for conservation and efficient use of energy.
• Allow for the development of natural gas and oil resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.
A full transcript of Senator Alexander’s remarks is available upon request.