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The Environment

 Touring Seattle

Protecting the environment is vital to protect the health of all Americans, particularly our children. Democrats are fighting for cleaner air, cleaner water, and preservation of our natural resources, understanding that what we do today has an impact on future generations of Americans. We stand up for fair policies that protect America's environment while allowing for economic opportunity--priorities that can work together.

Under Democratic leadership, the House took serious steps in the 110th and 111th Congresses to launch a clean energy economy that will create jobs, lower energy costs for American families and businesses, reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and reduce the carbon pollution causing climate change. Instead of building on this progress, House Republicans have been slashing investments in clean energy solutions and giving away tens of billions in tax breaks to Big Oil. They should join us in strengthening, not weakening our ability to ensure clean air and a healthier environment for our children.

Recent News & Actions

Pelosi Statement on Earth Day»

A Record that Speaks for Itself: GOP Votes to Support Big Oil»

Republican Energy Plan: Standing with Big Oil»

115 Members of Congress to Speaker Boehner: Reconsider Use of Styrofoam in House Facilities»

Legislation in the 112th Congress

Democratic Legislation - Make It in America: Clean Energy Jobs Now agenda»

H.R. 2021 - More Giveaways to Big Oil, Not Lower Gas Prices»

H.R. 1229 & H.R. 1231 - More Gifts To Big Oil, But No Relief for Taxpayers or Consumers»

H.R. 1230 - A Gift to Big Oil, But No Relief for Taxpayers or Consumers»

Upton-Inhofe Weaken Clean Air Act»

Legislation in the 111th Congress

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 -- Historic legislation to launch a new clean energy economy--to create 1.7 million American jobs (with the Recovery Act); help reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by 5 million barrels per day; keep energy costs low for Americans, protects consumers from price increases with lower income families seeing no cost; with no increase to the deficit.  Requires a reduction in the carbon pollution causing climate change from major U.S. sources of 17 percent by 2020 (the basis for America's proposal going into the Copenhagen Climate Summit) and 80 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels.  Invests in new clean energy and efficiency technologies.  Passed House June 26, 2009.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- Makes historic investments of more than $69 billion in clean energy:  modernizing the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable; tax incentives to spur energy savings and create clean energy jobs; and a significant commitment to clean energy research, and to develop advanced battery technology.  Estimated to create more than 700,000 jobs by 2012, nearly double renewable electricity over four years (instead of increasing only 6 percent), and save consumers up to $98 a year in energy costs.  Signed into law on February 17, 2009.

Congressional Budget for FY 2010 -- Provides for a 10% increase for investments in clean renewable energy, energy efficiency, research and technological development, and paves the way for fiscally responsible legislation to spur clean energy and energy independence.  Passed by the House and Senate, April 29, 2009.

Legislation in the 110th Congress

Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007 -- Landmark energy law to increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than 3 decades, to 35 miles per gallon in 2020, projected to save $1,000 per vehicle each year; to expand the use of American-grown biofuels, and to combat oil market manipulation.  Signed into law on December 19, 2007.

Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 -- The Farm Bill made an historic  commitment to American biofuels--which are keeping gas prices 15 percent lower than they otherwise would be due to fuel blending--and increased Commodity Futures Trading Commission oversight authority to detect and prevent manipulation of energy prices.  President Bush vetoed this bill, but Congress overrode that veto.  It became law on June 18, 2008.

Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 -- Legislation that extended and expanded tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel from America's heartland, as well as for plug-in hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances, is critical to creating and preserving more than 500,000 good-paying clean energy American jobs in the wind and solar industries alone.  After President Bush threatened to veto these provisions several times, it was signed into law on October 3, 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

Change Starts At Home

Democrats in the House took bold action to combat global warming and achieve energy independence, beginning right here in the Capitol. In 2007, House Democrats launched our “Green the Capitol” initiative--our commitment to reducing the Capitol's carbon footprint by making our operations more energyefficient and to ensure our nation's leaders remain responsible stewards of our environment.

 Speaker Pelosi  planting a tree
Pelosi planting a tree outside of the Capitol to commemorate Earth Day 2008

Today, the House has reduced its carbon footprint by 74 percent and converted our Capitol Power Plant from coal to clean natural gas. The Capitol--which serves as a beacon of freedom--is also now a shining example of sustainability.

Learn about the Greening the Capitol Initiative»