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United Opposition to Rahall Energy Dependency Bill
Diverse Coalition Criticize H.R. 2337
followed by more statements
June 6, 2007
Washington, D.C. - A diverse coalition of organizations representing America's economic and business leaders, labor, farmers and ranchers, and clean alternative energy producers are uniting to oppose legislation that would repeal many of the nation's important energy policies and raise consumer energy prices and increase U.S. dependency on foreign energy.
The Committee is scheduled to markup H.R. 2337 Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. in 1324 Longworth House Office Building.
Among the organizations opposing major provisions in H.R. 2337 are:
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- United Steelworkers
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- American Petroleum Institute
- American Public Power Association
- National Association of Manufactures
- AES Corporation
- Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth
- American Public Gas Association
- American Wind Energy Association
- Agriculture Energy Alliance
- Independent Petroleum Association of America
- Clipper Windpower, Inc.
- D.H. Blattner and Sons, Inc.
- Mortenson Construction
- DMI Industries
- Natural Gas Supply Association
- Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
- American Exploration & Production Council
- Industrial Energy Consumers of America
- Edison Electric Institute
- The Fertilizer Institute
- Southern California Edison
- PNM Resources
- American Chemical Council
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June 6, 2007
Vote Pending On Republican Effort to Protect Americans
From Higher Energy Prices & Increased Dependency
On Foreign Energy Imports;
Action on Amendments to Rahall Energy Dependency Bill (H.R. 2337) Postponed Until Thursday Morning
Washington, D.C. - An amendment that would protect the U.S. public from higher energy prices and increased dependency on foreign energy imports due to new anti-energy provisions in a controversial House bill was postponed until Thursday morning at 10 a.m..
The amendment, offered by U.S. Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM), would not allow controversial energy legislation (H.R. 2337) sponsored by U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall II (D-WV) to be implemented unless federal officials could certify that it would not increase energy prices on the American public, not increase foreign energy imports and not reduce U.S. energy production on federal lands.
"We argue all the time about what the impacts of our actions mean for energy prices, imports and American jobs," said Pearce, the Ranking Republican on the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee. "This simply says that we ought to 'Look Before We Leap'.
"This amendment is simple and straight forward - it's the kind of amendment Americans expect of The People's House. It helps resolve the central debate about this bill - will it increase prices Americans pay for energy and the amount of energy we import, or will it help the American people?
"I think that in the case of this bill, which could so profoundly affect energy prices and American jobs, this just makes common sense," Pearce said.
Pearce's amendment and several others will be voted on by the full Natural Resources Committee Thursday morning.
The amendments are to the so-called "Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007" (H.R. 2337), which will repeal many of the important energy provisions that were overwhelmingly adopted in the passage of the "Energy Policy Act of 2005" (EPAct).
Specifically, H.R. 2337:
· Makes oil and natural gas harder and more expensive to produce domestically;
· Increases the costs of all energy by making energy corridors tougher to build;
· Makes wind energy projects harder to build and adds more uncertainty to the projects;
· Stops our nation's largest potential liquid transportation fuel source - our two trillion barrel oil shale resource - from production;
· Federalizes the traditionally state-managed fish and wildlife resources under the guise of "global climate change".
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) Statement
Ranking Member, Natural Resources Committee
"This bill is national energy suicide. I cannot join you in a mutual suicide pact when it will so devastate our economy."
"Mr. Chairman, this is a bad bill. Americans pay too much for too much foreign energy when we have ample supplies at home. This bill would make it worse.
"This bill is national energy suicide. As much as I would have liked to work with you as we have in the past to solve problems with AML, transportation and other matters, I cannot join you in a mutual suicide pact when it will so devastate our economy. This is not a West Virginia energy policy; it is a San Francisco energy policy.
"Not only does it negatively affect the oil and natural gas production that is occurring on less than one percent of the lands owned by the American people, it hurts some of our best alternatives like wind power. It hurts other alternative energies by heaping more governmental red tape on top of the piles that already exist.
"The bill does nothing for clean coal and reverses a policy that will allow research to bear fruit through the development of America's two trillion barrels of oil shale.
"At a time when our economic competitors in China and India are experiencing three times our economic growth and taking good jobs away from Americans because energy in their countries is cheaper than energy here, this makes our energy more expensive.
"I am not opposed to working with you; I know we can do it. I am sorry we have not been given the chance.
"I want to thank all of my Members for their hard work in preparing for this markup, and especially Mr. Pearce of New Mexico, who has sat thru endless hearings and taken it upon himself to become an unparalleled expert in these matters.
"He will be the point of the spear on many of the amendments before the Committee today. I thank him and would offer any time I have remaining for a short statement.
Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM) Statement
Ranking Member, Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee
"H.R. 2337 is called the 'Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007'. It should be called the 'Chinese Full Employment Act' or 'The Venezuelan Dictatorship Funding Act' because we are going to ship our jobs overseas and buy all of our energy from foreign countries that hate us."
"Mr. Chairman, I want to make one point perfectly clear to everyone who is here today, this bill will cost America jobs, increase the cost of natural gas and gasoline, and stunt the growth of the alternative and renewable energy industry.
"H.R. 2337 is called the 'Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007'. It should be called the 'Chinese Full Employment Act' or 'The Venezuelan Dictatorship Funding Act' because we are going to ship our jobs overseas and buy all of our energy from foreign countries that hate us.
"During Committee hearings in the Congress, we have heard a lot of testimony from witnesses talking about the impact of our actions on the cost of energy.
"One witness, Paul Cicio testified that America has lost three million manufacturing jobs to overseas competition due to rising energy costs. That is an important point, because we need good jobs here in America. High tech industries and high tech manufacturing are the future of our economy and are tremendously energy dependent.
"You can't put a server farm in Washington or San Jose unless you have the energy to power it. You can however put it in Beijing because the Chinese are committed to building 544 coal power plants over the next 10 years to ensure they have enough power to keep their economy moving forward.
"At the hearing we talked about how a month ago, Dow Chemical announced it would build 22 billion dollar chemical facility in Saudi Arabia because natural gas supplies in America country are so tight and energy prices are too high.
Energy Prices Heading Higher
"We can see that energy prices are already high and headed higher. The projections show 20 to 30 percent increases in energy costs related to natural gas. These rising costs drive 22 billion dollar projects right out of America costing us jobs and other opportunities for economic development.
"Since 2000, our offshore gas production has dropped 40 percent, while our onshore production has remained stagnant. At exactly the time when we should be pushing for greater domestic production we have this bill which will bring us less.
H.R. 2337 Restricts Development Of Alternative Energy
"But this bill isn't just about natural gas, it restricts alternative energy development too.
"We also heard from the four Democratic witnesses at one hearing that coal could not be a part of America's energy future if we were to combat global warming. But looking at this bill it would appear that all that we will have left is coal.
"This bill places heavy handed new restrictions on wind energy that will endanger any capitol investment in new wind projects.
"This bill places new costs and restrictions on the solar industry requiring new labor provisions, per acre fees, and purchasing restrictions.
"This bill harms domestic oil and natural gas production reducing our domestic production and increasing our reliance on foreign oil.
"This bill will limit other alternative electricity development by restricting the development of energy corridors that will help us get the energy from the wind farms and solar fields to our cities.
"I guess with the carbon sequestration in this bill, to the dismay of the Democratic witnesses, it will ensure a future for coal, but everything else will be harder to produce.
"Moreover, while I understand that we need coal as an energy source, I believe we need more of these alternatives as well.
Federal Royalty-In-Kind Program Jeopardized By H.R. 2337
"Finally, Mr. Chairman, this bill attempts to 'capture' royalties owed to the federal government. Like the Chairman, I strongly believe that American taxpayers should receive the royalties they are due.
"Nevertheless, we differ when it comes to the method of collection. I support the Royalty-in-Kind program because it brings the government royalties in a manner that is clear and simple with nearly no confusion. But this bill nearly eliminates this program.
"In our legislative hearing on this bill, leading Members on your side of the aisle chastised our royalty regime saying it paralleled countries whose 'corrupt governments are blowing up their rigs' and moving to this country to exploit our low rates. But how ironic is that? You wish for the United States to set an example for the world on climate change, but want to follow lead of Venezuela on Nigeria on royalties.
"I support increasing production that will bring good, safe jobs and energy to America. I support efforts to keep the 'government take' as a portion of energy development to a reasonable level that ensures companies have the money to provide safe working conditions, keep their facilities up to date, and reinvest in new development and exploration.
"We know what happens when the 'government take' from energy development gets to high. You get scenes like these which are from a Russian lake where raw oil regularly seeps into the environment.
America Has Best Regulated Clean Oil & Gas Industry In World
"This is foreign energy development; this is what this bill will give us more of. I challenge anyone to find a scene like this in America.
"America produces clean energy. We have the best regulated clean oil and gas industry in the world. We have clean wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal development. And we have clean coal.
"I would hope that we would have a bill before us, which would get us more clean energy - produced domestically.
"Sadly, the bill before us doesn't do that. Instead, this bill makes our domestic energy production harder for alternatives, harder for oil and gas, and harder for Americans who depend on gasoline and natural gas for their daily lives."
For more information, access the Committee on Natural Resources' Minority website at:
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