Congress Passes Comprehensive Energy Bill
The comprehensive energy bill passed by Congress last week, according to Congressmember Joseph Crowley, will lower costs to consumers and American taxpayers, invest in renewable energy resources to create American jobs, expand domestic energy supply and create greater energy efficiency and conservation.
"With high prices putting a strain on millions of American families, the time has come for a comprehensive energy solution," Crowley stated.
The measure passed by Congress by a 236- 189 vote "will provide real relief to consumers by bringing new energy sources to market and expanding our home grown supply of oil," Crowley (D- Queens/The Bronx) declared.
"When it comes to diverting our nation's reliance on foreign oil and starting a new chapter in how we meet our energy needs, there is no room for partisanship. And I am glad that after repeated opposition from those who only wanted to drill more, the House has now worked in a bipartisan way to pass this package that will provide real solutions."
Crowley explained that among the bill's provisions is a roll-back in Big Oil tax breaks at a time of record oil company profits, and require all companies to pay royalties already owed to taxpayers.
It also provides investments in wind, solar and natural gas, 21st-century energy sources, to create millions of jobs, responsibly open up additional offshore areas for drilling with oil companies footing the bill instead of taxpayers, and release oil from the government's stockpile to bring down gas prices.
Crowley said the legislation also includes the New York Liberty Zone tax incentives to rebuild mass transportation facilities destroyed by the September 11 attacks. He said that as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he had been dedicated to ensuring that New York City receives the tax benefits it needs to continue its rebuilding.
"The Liberty Zone tax credits are the fulfillment of a promise made seven years ago to rebuild the mass transit system of Lower Manhattan after the September 11 terrorist attacks," Crowley said.
"If Americans are to achieve energy independence they will need a portfolio of solutions, including investments in mass transportation," Crowley added.
The Liberty Zone incentives, he pointed out, "are essential to New York City's energy and economic needs, and I thank my colleagues for their support of this provision".
The latest bill is part of the new direction Congress has taken to address the nation's energy independence, Crowley said. Last year, Congress passed and the president signed historic energy legislation with provisions to combat oil market manipulation, increase vehicle fuel efficiency to 33 miles per gallon by 2020—the first congressional increase in gas mileage standards in more than three decades—and promote the use of more affordable American biofuels.