Congressman Childers’ Statement on Energy Vote

Washington, DC – Congressman Travis Childers (D-MS) released the
following statement regarding his vote against the American Clean Energy
and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), which passed in the House by a
vote of 219-212:

“Like many of my colleagues, I strongly support increasing American
energy independence and protecting our environment through conservation
and the use of clean and renewable energy sources. Our national security
and global future depend on the creation of a comprehensive energy
policy. During my first few months in Congress, I even outlined a
six-point plan to reduce our nation’s reliance on foreign oil and
promote the use of alternative energy sources.

“While I commend the Administration’s and House leadership’s commitment
to legislation intended to promote conservation and energy independence,
I could not in good conscience vote for a bill that could significantly
raise costs for hard working American families and producers –
specifically the agriculture industry – during today’s difficult
economic times.

“For American agriculture and American families, higher energy costs
could considerably outweigh potential benefits. These costs will be
passed on to agriculture’s production inputs, and businesses will pass
on the cost of emission allowances to consumers, creating a ripple
effect that makes total costs and potential benefits impossible to
measure. Having no way of knowing the ultimate cost for both families
and industries, I felt it was irresponsible to vote for this bill.

“Additionally, the bill will likely have a disproportionate effect on
energy consumers in the South. It is a well-known fact that Southern
energy suppliers have fewer opportunities than their counterparts in
other regions to develop alternative sources, which puts them on an
unlevel playing field and creates higher bills for Southern families.

“This being said, I applaud House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin
Peterson for his tireless work to incorporate provisions in the bill
that are critical to the American agriculture and forestry industries. I
supported his amendments, which give the U.S. Department of Agriculture
appropriate authority in a cap-and-trade program, among other important
provisions. However, for the reasons outlined above, I could not vote
for the bill as a whole.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides
of the aisle to come up with an effective comprehensive energy policy,
as well as my colleagues throughout Mississippi to ensure our state
works to further develop clean and renewable energy sources that reduce
costs for hard working families.”

Rep. Travis Childers Press Release