(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
Today’s hearing will focus on creating clean energy jobs here in America and ensuring that this country is the world’s economic and technological leader in the 21st century.
Our witnesses today will testify about the powerful incentives for investment that well-crafted clean-energy legislation will provide.
When we unleash the American innovative spirit, we will drive economic growth and create jobs and whole new industries here at home. American entrepreneurs will create jobs – including jobs building wind turbines that we can export to the world, jobs installing solar panels on homes and businesses, and jobs producing energy efficient products and a new fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles.
At the same time, we must ensure that our existing industries receive fair treatment as we transition to a clean energy economy. We need to make sure that our industries that require a lot of energy operate on a level playing field with manufacturers in other countries of the world.
The legislation recently passed in the House contains several provisions to assist industries that are energy intensive and that are subject to international competition, and we are carefully reviewing these provisions as we develop our bill here in the Senate.
At the end of the day, our competitiveness in the world economy will depend on how we face the challenge of global warming.
I believe strongly that Thomas Friedman got it right when he wrote "...the ability to develop clean power and energy efficient technologies is going to become the defining measure of a country's economic standing, environmental health, energy security, and national security over the next 50 years."
Other countries, especially China and Germany, are already building their clean energy industries. I believe that when we pass strong clean energy legislation that cuts our dependence on foreign oil and protects our children from pollution, we will also provide the impetus that will restore American leadership in the world economy.
I look forward to hearing from today’s witnesses.
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