(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders is calling on Republican leaders in the U.S. House to allow a vote on a comprehensive energy bill that Sanders says will significantly reduce reliance on foreign oil.
Sanders is co-sponsor of legislation known as the “New Apollo Energy Act.” The bill compares the need to develop new energy policies to the country’s commitment to land a person on the moon in the 1960s.
The legislation calls for an expansion of conservation programs, the development of renewable fuels, and the creation of clean energy manufacturing jobs.
It would also eliminate many tax breaks that Congress has offered to the major oil companies:
(Sanders) “You explore and utilize the cutting edge technologies involving solar wind, hydrogen, bio mass coal with carbon sequestration. There’s just incredible potential out there to revolutionize our utilization of energy and at the same time expand our economy by creating not just jobs but jobs that are good paying jobs.”
(Host) Sanders says new energy priorities are needed because there’s no doubt that continued reliance on foreign oil has had a major impact on U.S. foreign policy:
(Sanders) “You have to be very na ve not to make that link. We are sustaining and supporting authoritarian dictatorships such as in Saudi Arabia and in other countries clearly because of the kinds of oil they provide the United States. And of course there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that one of the reasons we are in Iraq today has to do with oil.”
(Host) The legislation is currently being reviewed by a House subcommittee. Observers believe it’s unlikely that the measure will reach the floor of the U.S. House for a final vote this session unless GOP leaders back the bill.