“Lasting economic recovery will come only when the federal government looks beyond the quick fix and invests in building the advanced energy industries that will help restore America’s economic health over the long term,” EPA chief Lisa P. Jackson told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce at a hearing this week on a draft of the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” legislation.

”The American Clean Energy and Security Act would introduce a clean energy requirement for American electric utilities and new energy efficiency programs for American buildings. Those initiatives aim to create good American jobs that cannot be shipped overseas,” said Jackson.

”The legislation would launch programs to promote electric vehicles and deploy technologies for capturing, pipelining, and geologically storing carbon dioxide produced at coal-fueled power plants. Those incentives aim to help American companies make up for lost time in the advanced energy industries that will be to the 2010s what Internet software was to the 1990s.

”The legislation would institute new low-carbon requirements for vehicles and fuels, and programs to help reduce vehicle-miles traveled with increased transportation options and help for communities that want to plan for sustainable growth. Those proposals aim to reduce America’s dependence on oil and cut back on the hundreds of billions of dollars that Americans send overseas every year.

”And the legislation would put in place a declining cap on greenhouse-gas pollution. That market-based system aims to protect our children and grandchildren from severe environmental and economic harm, and great threats to national-security while further invigorating advanced, American energy industries,” said Jackson.

Addressing critics of the bill, Jackson said: “Now, the “no, we can’t” crowd will spin out doomsday scenarios about runaway costs. But EPA’s available economic modeling indicates that the investment Americans would make to implement the cap-and-trade program of the American Clean Energy and Security Act would be modest compared to the benefits that science and plain common sense tell us a comprehensive energy and climate policy will deliver.”