Rangel Opening Remarks at Hearing on Energy and Tax Policy

Feb 28, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel issued the following opening remarks during today’s full Committee hearing on climate change, energy and tax policy:

“It is with pleasure that I welcome our witnesses to discuss one of the most pressing issues facing our country today.  The issue of climate change is one that affects everyone in this room.  As Members of Congress, we have a duty to act now to reduce some of those harmful effects.

“This debate has come a long way since a former Member of this Committee, Tom Downey, and his good buddy Al Gore first brought this issue to public attention many years ago.  But the debate is over — global warming is a fact and human energy consumption is driving some of the detrimental effects of climate change.

“The Federal government can play a role in changing some of the behaviors that tend to contribute to the global warming problem. Carbon-based fuel consumption is one of the contributing factors to the global warming problem, and the Federal government can use the tax code to encourage the development of alternative sources of energy.

“The Speaker has made reducing America’s reliance on oil and other traditional carbon fuels a priority.  She has tasked Committees with jurisdiction over the issue with developing legislation to that effect.  The goal of this hearing is to offer Members a full, scientific understanding of climate change and global warming, so that, with that understanding, the Committee is able to move forward with tax policies that will accelerate the development of clean, renewable energy and promote greater energy efficiency.

“The panel of witnesses before us today includes some of the leading academic perspectives on climate change.  These witnesses will be able to quantify the effects of our nation’s reliance on carbon-based fuels on climate change, and summarize the efforts of the scientific and business communities to address global warming.  These witnesses can also provide a ‘big picture’ overview of how the tax system can be utilized to complement regulatory efforts and to encourage the development of clean and renewable energy alternatives.”