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Climate Action Now Act

Floor Speech

Date: May 2, 2019
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Chairman, I think that is the first time I have been directed to my region of the State of Illinois, and I appreciate it.

Illinois has 102 counties. I represent 33 of those, or parts of 33, so it is a little different than north of I-80, as the Chairman knows and as does the author of this amendment. And, of course, you had me at a disadvantage because I have great kinship and friendship with my colleague who is offering this amendment.

I would pause to say sometimes we have a hard time defining ``clean.''

What is clean energy? For me, some of this debate is no CO2 or very limited CO2 emissions. I think that is in the Paris accord, in the climate change, global warming debate. It is all about CO2. We have some colleagues come here and talk about the four criteria pollutants and stuff, but this is really about CO2.

So we also think not just solar, but we ought to make sure we do geothermal provisions. We ought to look at pump storage provisions. We should do the hydroelectric provisions.

As my colleagues know, Mr. Chairman, the Chicagoland area of Illinois has the largest production of electricity through the use of nuclear power--six locations, 11 reactors. How much does it emit of CO2 into the atmosphere? Zero. Major baseload energy that is beneficial in this debate, because we can't meet these standards unless we have some major generation, some major baseload.

So I think if we look forward to moving forward with a bill that would have a chance to move to the Senate floor that we eventually want to get to the President, we actually look forward to working with my colleagues on provisions and helping us grapple with the definition of clean.

If the definition is little to no CO2 emissions, solar is great; wind is great. They are small parts of a large portfolio of nuclear energy and hydroelectric, which are the predominant clean energy electricity producers if that definition is CO2.

So, with that, I ask my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the amendment, respectfully.

Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.