'My colleagues, this is a very important day for our country. A day in which this Congress can declare itself a Congress for the future. A Congress for
'This vote on this legislation will be a shot heard 'round the world for energy independence for
'I want to begin by thanking Mr. Dingell for his exceptional leadership as Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee. This is about
'I mention all my colleagues, these chairmen, not only to salute them, but to say they started a process over a series of months, where practically every member of these 11 committees of Congress had an opportunity, Democrats and Republicans alike, to weigh in on the initial legislation which was introduced in time for the Fourth of July, as promised, and was passed by this Congress in the first week of August. And it is the follow up on that legislation that we are voting on today.
'This is about our national security, it's about jobs and the economic security of our country, it's about the environment, therefore it's a health issue, and it's a moral issue. That's why we have scientists and evangelicals. We have business and labor. We have the environmental community all strongly supporting this legislation. And here are some of the reasons why. I'll give you their words.
'Over 20 generals have signed a letter saying that we have to move in this direction in terms of reversing global warming. But specifically, the other day, we heard from Vice Admiral Denny McGinn, and he said this: 'Our dependence on foreign oil is a clear and present danger to Americans. Your vote for tough fuel economy standards is a vote for increasing our safety and well-being.' This is a national security issue.
'It's an issue that relates to our environment and therefore the health of our children. That's why the Pew Charitable Trusts Campaign for Fuel Efficiency wrote: 'If the House and Senate finally approve this deal and the President signs it, they will all have done more for consumers at the pump than any Congress or Administration since the 1970s.'
'They were referencing also the fact that consumers will save $700 to $1,000 as a result of this bill per year. And over a period of time until 2020, they will save $22 billion. That's why the Consumer Federation of America is supporting this bill.
'It's about American jobs. The President of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers wrote: 'We believe this tough, national fuel economy bill will be good for both consumers and energy security. We support its passage.' I could submit to the record a long list of representatives of the business community who are supporting this legislation.
'The Legislative Director of the UAW wrote: 'We believe that this historic measure will provide substantial energy security and environmental benefits to our nation, while protecting and expanding jobs for American workers.' The list goes on.
'The national security, jobs, the environment and health of our children and the future of this planet as well as the consumer benefits.
'It's an historic day because it's been so long since we have come to a place where we are, as has been said, over 30 years since we have addressed this issue in this substantial way in the Congress of the
'So my friends, I ask you to think about this and take great pride when you cast a yes vote. Many of you are far away from your legacy, but when that day comes, I hope you will consider this day a part of that legacy when you made history in the Congress of the
'They are watching to see what we do. This legislation is as immediate to them as the price at the pump they face when they fill up their tanks. This is as immediate to them as they are heating their homes. It's as global as preserving this planet, and if you believe, as I think all of us do, that this is God's creation, then we have a moral responsibility to preserve it. That's why we have strong support from the religious community, including the evangelical community. I hope you will take this act in faith today to make history and to make progress for the American people, especially to declare this the children's Congress.
'Thank you, my colleagues. I urge a yes vote.'