Republican News

Jul 10 2003

DOMENICI SAYS ENERGY DIVERSITY AND INCREASED PRODUCTION OF CLEAN ENERGY WILL BLUNT NATURAL GAS CRISIS

SENATE MUST SWIFTLY PASS S. 14 TO SAVE AMERICAN JOBS, BOOST ECONOMY

Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy Chairman Pete V. Domenici today noted that high natural gas prices in the United States are hitting consumers hard this year, will hit them harder over the winter months and are driving high-paying industrial jobs overseas. The Senate must act swiftly to pass S. 14 – the Energy Policy Act of 2003 – for the sake of the U.S. economy and American jobs, he said. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan today testified that increased domestic production, diversification of U.S. energy supplies and short-term importation of liquid natural gas are the only measures that will ease the tight supply and rising price of natural gas. Chairman Greenspan noted that increased use of coal and nuclear energy, for example, “will take a good deal of pressure of the gas market.” Chairman Domenici’s statement: “The Senate energy bill does two of the three things Chairman Greenspan testified today must be done to lower gas prices. It increases domestic production of natural gas and it diversifies America’s energy supply. “This energy bill is the right choice for American jobs and our national economy. In the face of a growing natural gas crisis, it is the only choice. We must increase domestic production of natural gas. We must diversify America’s energy supply. That’s what President Bush has been saying for two years. That’s what House and Senate Republicans have been trying to do. “More than 90 percent of the electricity generation built in this country since 1996 relies solely on natural gas. That reliance on one energy source is what got us into this mess. We must get more of our electricity from nuclear energy, clean coal, hydropower, wind and solar energy. S. 14 does just that. “This natural gas crisis is hitting consumers hard. It will hit them harder this winter. It’s forcing industry to move manufacturing operations overseas, taking high-paying American jobs with them. It’s past time for us to pass comprehensive energy legislation that diversifies our energy supply and increases our energy production. If we had done this two years ago, we might not have this crisis today. I am a strong advocate of conservation, but we can’t simply conserve our way out of this problem. We must act, for the sake of our economy and American jobs.” Chairman Domenici noted, in his hearing remarks, that he met recently with an industry CEO who said his company was moving its manufacturing operation to Germany because of high U.S. gas prices. Chairman Greenspan responded by noting that high natural gas prices were a U.S. phenomenon, not a global phenomenon. High natural gas prices currently affect household budgets, but over time, those prices could drive jobs overseas, he said. ###