Quigley Issues Statement Following Passage of Clean Energy Bill
WASHINGTON, DC -- This evening, Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) voted to pass landmark clean energy legislation that will create millions of new American jobs, limit the pollution that causes climate change, and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Cong. Quigley issued this statement following spirited debate and bipartisan passage of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES):
"This is a great day for all of us, and all of our children, and all of our children's children. This long-term investment is an investment in our economy, our health, and our future. Going green will save green, because future savings will quickly outpace immediate costs. This bill will grow our GDP, help clear our air of harmful pollution, create clean energy jobs that will stay in America, and provide us with both environmental and economic hope for tomorrow."
With a combination of price spike protections, energy refunds and cost-saving technology, ACES will protect consumers, keep costs low, and protect current jobs by helping energy-intensive industries transition to a cleaner, more profitable future. According to the EPA, the legislation would cost a typical American household less than a postage stamp per day, or less than $111 a year. Lower income households will see no new costs; in fact, the Congressional Budget Office found that they would actually save $40 per year with the plan. To maintain the return to fiscal responsibility that has become a hallmark of this Congress, the bill will not increase the deficit.
"It's hard to see the road ahead when times are tough; I get that," said Cong. Quigley. "But we can't afford not to act. We have to remember, on this issue and others, that the cost of inaction far outweighs today's price tag. Energy costs are on the rise due to increased demand, and we're on an unsustainable path that will increase costs much more if we don't take action now. This is an important legacy, and I'm proud to be a part of it."
Illinois stands to greatly benefit by investments in a clean-energy economy, according to a recent report by the Center for American Progress. Research finds that Illinois could see a net increase of approximately $6.6 billion in investment revenue and 70,000 jobs based on its share of a total of $150 billion in clean-energy investments annually across the country. Illinois' unemployment rate is currently more than 10%, a 25-year high for the state and higher than the national average.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act has received broad support from both industry and environmental groups and Members of Congress from across the country. It is backed by a coalition that includes consumer groups, electric utilities, car companies, manufacturers, environmental organizations, agriculture and forestry groups, and labor organizations among many others.
H.R. 2454 passed by a bi-partisan vote of 219-212 earlier this evening. Congressman Quigley voted in support of the bill.