When I became Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in January of this year, I had one primary goal: to ensure that America’s farmers and ranchers have the policies in place that they need to feed, fuel, and clothe the nation while ensuring stability and consistency for farmers, ranchers, consumers, markets, and rural communities. After all, agriculture is the foundation of our livelihood and the lifeblood of rural America. And, while our work will never be done, we are off to a great start.
Goodlatte Praises Passage of Energy Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte issued the following statement regarding today’s approval by the House of the Conference Report for the Energy Policy Act of 2005:
“I am pleased that the House voted today to pass the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This bill outlines a comprehensive energy strategy to help the U.S. reduce its dependency on foreign oil by utilizing domestic, renewable resources. The agriculture sector has played a significant role in the development of alternative energy sources, and I applaud the conferees for recognizing the importance of clean, renewable fuels by agreeing to a 7.5 billion renewable fuels standard (RFS) by 2012.
An increased RFS opens the door to new economic opportunities in congressional districts across the country. It is estimated that this provision alone will create as many as 243,000 new jobs in all sectors of the economy and add nearly $200 billion to the economy by 2012. The RFS does this by creating new markets for waste products such as poultry litter, livestock waste, and forestry biomass which are ultimately converted to efficient and clean-burning fuel. Additionally, commodities such as corn, sugar cane and beets, wheat, grain sorghum, and soybeans can be used to produce renewable fuels such as ethanol. While I support the use of these commodities for ethanol production, I will work hard to ensure that we continue to have an affordable and ample supply of feed for our livestock producers. It is important for the agriculture community to support this new market for our products and to proudly produce a clean fuel that not only strengthens the economies of rural America, but also enhances domestic security.
The Energy Policy Act addresses rising gasoline prices and other energy issues facing our country by boosting production of clean natural gas, improving our nation’s electricity transmission capacity and reliability to prevent future blackouts, requiring greater energy conservation, and encouraging more nuclear and hydropower production. This bill also includes a provision that extends daylight savings time by four weeks in order to reduce energy consumption.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 is a step in the right direction to lowering our dependency on foreign oil and increasing our domestic energy security. A strong domestic energy policy is good for the economy, the environment, and the American people.”