Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the House, by a vote of 219 to 212, passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The bill, H.R. 2454, would create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy. Pertinent to the energy needs of the Territories, Title II, Subtitle G, Section 273 would establish a team of experts to assist any affiliated island including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
“I want to thank Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member Barton of the Committee on Energy and Commerce for recognizing the vast potential for the use of renewable energy in the territories. The high cost of fuel, coupled with the current economic recession, has adversely impact the economies of the Territories making the transition to renewable energy critical. More significantly, the Territories provide some of the best national opportunities to promote renewable energy because of their vast potential for deploying onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy-from-waste, wave and tidal energy, and ocean thermal energy conversion technology. I thank the Committee for this bill, H.R. 2454, would provide the territories with the necessary technical expertise, planning, as well as capital to invest in technology, to facilitate transition to renewable energy,” Faleomavaega said.
“I also want to thank Congresswoman Christensen for her leadership and to all the delegates for their hard work and effort in making sure that the needs of the territories are addressed. For some time now, the delegates have been working together to explore possible partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and all the territories to establish and develop Action Plans for the use of renewable energy,” Faleomavaega said.
“Although the impetus for such an undertaking is found in existing Congressional directives under the Energy Act of 2005, a recent initiative established by the State of Hawaii with the support of DOE, spawned further actions by the delegates. In essence, the Hawaiian Clean Energy Initiative establishes and implements an Action Plan for the State of Hawaii to become less dependent on fossil fuel.”
“Language in H.R. 2454 lays a similar framework for the Territories. In essence, the bill provides that the Secretary of DOE shall assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to develop and implement an energy action plan for each of the affiliated islands to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels through increased efficiency and use of indigenous clean-energy resources. In light of the current economic crisis and the rising costs of fuel, this bill provides the essential framework for American Samoa to transition towards the use of renewable energy,” Faleomavaega explained.
“The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, H.R. 2454, is now on its way to the Senate and I will continue to follow this matter closely,” Faleomavaega concluded.