Statement of Senator Lamar Alexander - At Press Conference On Energy Bill Passing Committee

Posted on May 26, 2005

I hope that this bill is called the Clean Energy Act of 2005 and by the time it gets through the whole process that it deserves that title. I believe Senator Domenici and Senator Bingaman have provided a real service to the country by creating this piece of legislation so far. September 11 was a big surprise for this country, but the next big surprise will be to our pocket books if we don’t fix our energy policy. We have the highest natural gas prices in the industrialized world—that’s a bigger problem than prices at the pump. This is a bill for blue collar workers; it’s for American homeowners; it’s for American farmers. It includes aggressive conservation. For example, just the appliance efficiency standards in this bill will avoid building 45 new 500 megawatt gas power plants—that’s a lot. And secondly, it changes the way we think about producing energy. It focuses again on nuclear power, which produces 70 percent of our carbon-free electricity, on clean coal - that’s half of our power - and on finding a way to reduce the price of natural gas. It’s a great step forward, and I look forward to the floor debate.