We don't know the exact shape that the final bill will take, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he intends to get a comprehensive climate and energy bill on the floor this summer -- and if there is any spirit of genuine bipartisanship, we can find the 60 votes we need to pass it. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reminds us just how much is at stake, and America can't afford to have the Senate put off the tough decisions for another year or another Congress. We have to make hard choices -- and hard compromises -- right now, because the challenge only grows every day that we wait.
Over the last year Senators Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and I met with stakeholders on all sides of the climate and energy debate. Generals, admirals, CEOs, venture capitalists, environmentalists -- I've heard every viewpoint on this issue, and I've always kept an open mind. Many of their proposals are incorporated in the American Power Act Lieberman and I submitted to our colleagues, and I'll continue to pull together the best ideas from all corners, no matter who proposed them first.
But there is one area where I know we have to stand firm: Whatever we pass has to include a price on carbon pollution. This will determine whether we're going to get serious about our oil addiction this year, or whether we're only willing to pass a stopgap "energy-only" measure that will at best kick this problem down the road for another few years.
We've passed "energy-only" measures before -- most recently in 2005 and 2007 -- and they've failed to deliver the transformative shift our energy policy needs. China and Germany have surged ahead and built thriving markets around green technologies that our country invented. And we haven't pushed back against the daunting threat that climate instability poses for our planet.
A comprehensive bill with a price signal on carbon is the only way to really address the environmental, economic, and national-security challenges we face. It will send a clear signal to the market that it's time to develop alternative fuel sources so we can finally sever our dependence on distant nations and regimes that don't share our values.
The nonpartisan, independent research is clear. In May Third Way, a leading moderate think tank, released a study showing that a carbon pricing plan would cut U.S. foreign oil consumption in half by 2020. The report also showed that a carbon price would promote job growth in all 50 states, creating about 1.9 million jobs in the next decade. And the nonpartisan Peterson Institute for International Economics affirmed those findings. Its analysis of the American Power Act concluded that this legislation will reduce foreign oil imports by 40 percent, create 200,000 new jobs each year, and lower household energy costs by $35 a year through 2020.
So there are the facts. A carbon-pricing plan will decrease our dependence on foreign oil, create American jobs, lower energy bills, and protect our environment. This will be the measure of a real bill, and I'm prepared to fight to get this done, following the strategy Winston Churchill laid out at the outbreak of World War II: "Never give in, never give in -- never, never, never, never."