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Walz and bipartisan House group seek clean energy independence

Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz is one of four leaders of a bipartisan House Energy Working Group that will introduce legislation that “creates a new energy infrastructure and rebuilds our country’s aging roads, bridges, locks and dams.”

Other leading the group are Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Bill Shuster (R-Pa.).

Their first step: reintroduction of a bill that had 40 sponsors but didn’t pass last year, the American Conservation and Clean Energy Independence Act.

Their proposed legislation would dedicate an estimated $2.2 trillion to $3.7 trillion in royalty and lease payments from offshore energy production for investments in alternative energy and energy efficiency, lower emissions at power plants, clean water and rebuilding America’s infrastructure. And their bill extends tax incentives for clean energy production and conservation to foster new, long-term investments in clean energy technology.

Said Walz: “I believe putting aside partisan bickering and finding common-sense solutions will speed up America’s transition to an energy independent future. Continuing to send our money overseas to countries that don’t like us doesn’t make any sense. We can tap into the American can-do spirit and work together to find better, more affordable ways to power our homes, workplaces and schools.”

Said Costa: “The bipartisan House Energy Working Group is a solid first step toward securing America’s energy independence. With gas prices skyrocketing and turmoil in the Middle East, it is clear we can no longer afford to keep pumping our dollars to unstable regions of the world. We’ve got to develop our energy right here in America using every tool in our energy toolbox. It’s time to put aside our political labels and get to work for the good of the country.”

And Shuster: “America has vast reserves of domestic energy that can harness our transition to a new energy economy that will lead us closer to independence from our dangerous reliance on foreign oil. I am pleased to co-sponsor this common-sense and important legislation with my colleagues. It is past time that we invest in domestic energy to create American jobs and power our nation with American energy.”

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