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September 9, 2008
Steve Hansen, Director of Communications, Republican Staff, U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
Rep. Don Young Statement On Democrat’s Secret New Energy Bill
“I am seriously concerned the new Democratic bill will actually do more harm than good.”
Washington, D.C. – The following is U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) statement on the Democratic Leadership’s secret new “energy” bill that is expected to be introduced later this week.
Young is the Ranking Member on House Natural Resources Committee and the leading proponent of opening a small section of the Coastal Plain in ANWR to produce 10.4 billion barrels of oil to decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil.
“Because Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership have been drafting their so-called energy bill in secret behind closed doors it’s difficult to identify which bad policies they will once again try to ram through the House.
“Already this year, they tried to sell the American public a ‘use it or lose it’ bill even though current law already says industry must use their leases or they lose them. In truth, what the Democrat Leaders proposed was to breach contract rights and to reduce incentives for industry to risk their own money looking for new oil and gas resources in America. I hope they don’t try to include this do-nothing bill in their new legislation.
“I also hope Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership admit they have been wrong to continually oppose domestic energy production and correct their actions that have resulted in the neglect of 97 percent of federal offshore areas and 94 percent of federal onshore areas from being leased for energy production.
“In addition, I hope the Democratic Leadership will seek to help lower gas prices for the public by reversing their generation-long opposition to oil and natural gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Using a footprint of 2,000 acres within the 1.5 million-acre Coastal Plain of ANWR could yield 10.4 billion barrels of oil and an abundance of natural gas. This small portion of ANWR would already be producing one million barrels of oil each day for the American people if President Clinton hadn’t vetoed the Republican ANWR provision in 1995.
“Some Members of the Democratic Leadership are promoting legislation to forever lock up this 10.4 billion barrels of oil by making the Coastal Plain a permanent wilderness area. I hope this isn’t in their new bill.
“In contrast, the Republican Leadership is promoting the American Energy Act (H.R. 6566), an ‘all of the above’ plan to lower gas prices by encouraging more conservation and efficiency, promoting the use of more alterative and renewable fuels, and expanding drilling on remote lands and far off American shores in an environmentally-safe way.
“I am seriously concerned the new Democratic bill will actually do more harm than good. President Bush has already lifted the moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf oil leasing – the most important energy action of this year. The only action Speaker Pelosi can take from here is to lock up the areas President Bush just opened.
“The Mineral Management Service can begin pre-leasing activities and planning for lease sales that will lead to new domestic oil drilling. Yet, there are news reports that the Speaker’s secret plan includes locking up Pacific Coast and large areas of the Atlantic Coast from OCS development - permanently. I can’t imagine a real energy bill that would include provisions to cut off this work that is already under way.”
For more information, access the Committee on Natural Resources’ Minority website at:
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Director of Communications
U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
1329 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
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