The following is a transcript of the Democratic response by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to President Bush's radio address:
NANCY PELOSI: Good morning. This is Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
This week, Congress has acted to put America on a road to energy independence with a New Direction for Energy Security.
Energy independence is an economic issue for Americas families; it is an urgent national security issue; it is an environmental and health issue; and it is a moral issue.
In this holiday season, Americans are struggling to pay their energy bills.
Michael Johnson in California says, Ive got to balance my expenses for gas, food, and work. [Gas] has taken a chunk out of my budget.
Frank Ban of Pennsylvania has turned down his thermostat. As he explained, If I cut back on my heating use any more, my pipes would freeze.
Spiraling prices at the pump, soaring costs for home heating - these make a move to energy independence essential.
In order to reduce the price at the pump, our legislation increased fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. This legislation is historic - it is the first time in 32 years that Congress has raised these standards, known as CAFE.
CAFE standards will save the average driver $700 to $1,000 each year. That adds up to $22 billion in net annual consumer savings in 2020.
Increased fuel efficiency will mean savings for your family and greater security for our country. Energy independence is essential to our national security. In the words of retired Admiral Dennis McGinn: Our dependence on foreign oil is a clear and present danger to Americans…tough fuel economy standards…increase our safety and well-being, he said.
One way to make Americans safer is to grow our energy here at home. That is why we have made an historic commitment to homegrown biofuels - increasing the Renewable Fuels Standard to 36 billion gallons in 2020. The crops Americas farmers grow are becoming the fuel that powers our cars. We will send our energy dollars to the Midwest, not the Middle East - to farmers nationwide. Americas farmers will fuel Americas energy independence, promoting small businesses and creating millions of new jobs.
Energy security is closely related to global warming - the greatest environmental challenge facing the planet. The urgency of that challenge was recognized this week as former Vice President Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and as world leaders gathered for the Bali global warming conference. The Bush Administration has responded far too slowly to the threat of climate change.
With our new energy legislation, Congress takes us in a New Direction. Instead of remaining wedded to the failed energy policy of the past, the New Direction Congress has embraced a clean, renewable, energy independent future for America.
Our energy bill will strengthen our national security, protect consumers from spiraling energy prices, create jobs, and meet our moral obligation to preserve our planet for future generations. It will tell the world that America is prepared to become a leader in addressing the global climate crisis.
I am hopeful that President Bush will join us in this effort by signing our historic legislation into law.
This is the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Thank you for listening. Happy holidays to you and your family, and a special holiday greeting to our brave men and women in uniform.