Press Release

Opening Statement Of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand From Today’s Environment And Public Works Committee Hearing on the Clean Energy Jobs And American Power Act

Oct 27, 2009

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following opening
statement from today’s Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing
on the on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act:

you Chairman Boxer for your leadership and hard work on this very
critical legislation. I’d like to recognize my Chairman from the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Kerry, who has joined us today,
for his dedication to these issues. I’d also like to thank our
witnesses for taking the time to be here today to provide their
perspective and expert analysis of this legislation.

“S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, is the platform to move America forward on a path to achieve energy
independence, revitalize our economy by creating green jobs here at
home, and protect our environment from the threats of global climate
change. I have heard from thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers of
all age groups, from Brookhaven to Brooklyn, to Buffalo, who have
called, written, visited my offices, and attended events to push for
strong legislation that will transition our nation to a clean energy
economy.  I am confident that the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act is the framework that will do just that.

passion and advocacy of my constituents has been invaluable leading up
to these important hearings, and I thank them for their continued
support to see strong climate change legislation across the finish
line. Over the course of these hearings I look forward to receiving
testimony from witnesses representing business interests and local
governments from around the country, describing how this legislation
will lead to American prosperity and a demonstration of the kind of
innovation and ingenuity that our country is built on.

particular, I am interested in exploring a number of aspects of this
legislation that are critical to my constituents in the State of New

“First, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act includes a framework for significant investments in carbon-reducing
transportation planning. The development and expansion of mass transit
systems are critical to New Yorkers who take 1/3 of the nation’s mass
transit rides, and is vital to mitigating America’s greenhouse
emissions; 30 percent of which comes from the transportation sector.

also interested in the many ways that this legislation prioritizes and
incentivizes energy-efficiency, which as we all know, is one of the
most reliable and cost-effective way to reduce energy bills for
consumers and cut harmful emissions.

“S. 1733 includes a provision I authored, entitled the Green Taxis Act.  This
legislation will allow municipalities to set standards for emissions
and fuel economy for taxicabs using federal minimums and predicated on
the commercial availability of vehicle technologies.  These provisions
will be beneficial to many cities across the United States. Replacing
the current fleet of taxicabs on New York City streets with
fuel-efficient vehicles would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more
than 296,000 tons, or the equivalent of taking 35,000 cars off the
road. In addition, switching to fuel-efficient vehicles would save each
driver an average of $4,500 annually in gas costs and reduce the
upwards pressure on passenger fares.

I have stated in previous hearings, one area that is of vital concern
to me is providing effective oversight for the carbon market created by
this legislation. Ensuring that we have an active carbon market that
allows for the type of customization that end-users need in order to
finance a new clean power facility, large-scale solar or wind project,
or international reforestation project is central to this legislation’s

look forward to working with my colleagues Senators Baucus and
Klobuchar and Chairman Lincoln in the Agriculture Committee as we
engage in comprehensive market reform that will set a framework for how
carbon markets are regulated to protect consumers from market
manipulation while facilitating investment in emissions reductions.  I
am particularly interested in the provisions in this legislation that
will allow our farms and forests to engage in activities that have
real, measurable benefits in emission reductions. Ensuring that New
York’s dairy farms and private forest lands can participate in
activities that help us reach our climate goals is important to me.

as important as what is in this legislation, is what is not. S. 1733
does not include provisions that were part of the House-passed version
that I believe are detrimental to reaching the goals of comprehensive
climate change legislation. The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act preserves Clean Air Act authority to regulate the nation’s oldest and
dirtiest coal plants. These protections are critical to New Yorkers, as
we are on the receiving end of air pollution from many of these plants
– contributing to acid rain, harming natural resources such as the
Adirondacks, increasing contamination in our waterways, limiting the
number of fish we can eat, and increasingly growing asthma rates that
raise our health care costs.

“The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act will lead to long-term economic prosperity, energy security, and the protection of our environment for future generations. Chairman
Boxer, I want to thank you, my colleagues on the Committee, and the
staff for all of their hard work on this legislation.”