Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Floor Statement Opposing H.R. 4480, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act

Jun 20, 2012
Press Release

CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
(773) 224-6500 ofc.; (202) 674-0891 mobile

WASHINGTON — Congressman Rush spoke today in opposition to H.R. 4480, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act.  The text of his statement is below:

“Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the 112th Congress, we have held over 30 Energy & Power subcommittee and joint subcommittee hearings.

We have held over a dozen subcommittee and full committee markups, and including H.R. 4480, which we will vote on today, we have had ten bills that originated from the Energy & Power Subcommittee that have been voted on by the full House.

Yet from all of that time and effort, Mr. Speaker, the Energy & Power Subcommittee has produced exactly one substantive bill, let me repeat: exactly one significant bill, the Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Act, that has actually become law.

Mr. Speaker, instead of focusing our efforts on trying to create the clean energy jobs of the 21st Century, the majority party has spent the past 18 months lobbing partisan attacks against the EPA and the Clean Air Act in order to appease Big Oil and some of the more extreme constituencies that the Republican Party represents.

Mr. Speaker, most Americans would like to see us utilizing our time working in a bipartisan manner to address critical issues, such as access to jobs, clean air, and clean water, less dependence on foreign oil, enhanced energy efficiency measures, and an increased reliance on the cleaner and renewable energy sources of the future.

Instead, here we are again debating yet another bill that would continue the concerted effort by the majority party to weaken the authority of the EPA and to delegitimize the agency’s regulations as unnecessary “job killers”.

Mr. Speaker, with a little over 20 legislative days left before the August recess we should be focusing our limited time on legislation that would create jobs and move America toward a smarter energy future that is less vulnerable to the whims of the world oil market.

However, nothing in H.R. 4480 accomplishes that.

The most offensive provision of this bill, the Gasoline Regulations Act, would fundamentally change a cornerstone of public health law, the Clean Air Act and I ask my colleagues: to what end?

This bill will not create any jobs but rather would block EPA rules to make the fuel we put into our cars cleaner, and also block rules that would cut toxic air pollution from refineries.

This bill blocks EPA from requiring new refineries from cutting carbon pollution that causes climate change, and it even blocks the agency from revising the national air quality standard for ozone to reflect the best-available science and medical evidence about how much ozone is safe to breathe without serious health effects.

Mr. Speaker, the Clean Air Act already ensures that states and localities take costs into consideration when deciding how to meet national air quality standards, but cost should not be a factor when deciding how much pollution the experts believe is safe for a child to breathe without experiencing an asthma attack.

Mr. Speaker, the truth is H.R. 4480 isn’t really about jobs or lowering gasoline prices, but instead is an excuse to push a profoundly anti-environmental agenda and provide oil companies with more items from their election-year wish-list.

I oppose this bill because it would strike at the heart of the Clean Air Act, and would not provide any tangible benefits to the American people and I urge all of my colleagues to oppose it as well.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I yield back the balance of my time.”