Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Testimony by CAP Action’s Weiss on America’s Path to Energy Independence
Press Release

RELEASE: Testimony by CAP Action’s Weiss on America’s Path to Energy Independence

Read the full testimony here.

Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Action Fund Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy Daniel J. Weiss testified today before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power’s hearing on the “Outlook for Achieving North American Energy Independence Within the Decade” and will be available for comment.

An excerpt from his testimony:

Congress must not ignore climate science when developing energy policies. Promoting an energy independence plan that increases carbon pollution is like setting your house on fire to stay warm. It may work at first, but the long term consequences are horrendous…

The Obama administration is moving toward energy independence while reducing climate pollution by establishing modern fuel economy standards and investing in clean energy technologies. We are also producing more oil and gas under new worker safety and health protections. We are using and importing less oil. Domestic oil production is the highest in 15 years. Natural gas production is the highest ever measured.

Last year the United States invested the most capital of any country in clean energy technologies to help us remain competitive in the $2 trillion worldwide clean technology market. It is essential that the United States continue to invest in renewable electricity, energy efficiency, and clean alternative-fueled vehicles so that our domestic clean tech companies can compete with companies in other nations. Without incentives to invest in this emerging industry, we will cede these jobs and exports to China, Germany and other nations that do support their clean tech industry…

But more production won’t do much to lower prices at the pump because the oil prices that determine gasoline prices are set on a world market controlled by the OPEC cartel. The Associated Press tested whether more U.S. drilling would lower gasoline prices when it conducted an exhaustive analysis of 36 years of monthly U.S. oil production and gasoline price data. AP found “no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump.”…

The most important step we can take to become more energy independent while reducing carbon pollution would be to increase investments in the clean electricity, vehicles, and fuels of the future. The revenue to pay for such investments should come from closing $2.4 billion of annual special tax breaks for the five largest oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell. These five companies made $60 billion in profits in the first half of 2012, on top of a record $137 billion total in 2011. Surely the money from these tax breaks would be better invested in the clean energy technologies of the future instead of adding to the coffers of some of the most profitable companies in the world.

Read the full testimony here.

Related resources:

To speak with Daniel J. Weiss, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or [email protected].