Energy Conference Update #20 (From Mr. Dingell)

October 21, 2003
12:00 AM
Republican staff who are self-negotiating our nation’s energy policy say they need more time to wrap up work on taxes. The GOP conference managers say they intend to convene an energy conference meeting next week. So, reporters may be wondering how they’re going to fill a newshole/air time for the next several days?? Here’s one idea: Consider this letter that Congressman Dingell sent today to Chairmen Domenici and Tauzin: October 21, 2003 Dear Mr. Chairmen: I have been reading press reports of your efforts to reconcile Republican differences on the energy conference, and I note that you seem to be making progress. Today's press accounts, coupled with your statement released jointly last night, indicate that most of your work on the bill is complete with the exception of the tax title, which you anticipate will be complete in time for final conference action next week. I bring your attention to an article in The Energy Daily of October 21st, which states the following: “While substantial tax issues remain in dispute, Domenici and Tauzin have largely concluded work on policy-related provisions of the energy package, said Domenici spokeswoman Marnie Funk Monday. She characterized the remaining policy matters as 'a couple of peripheral issues that can be resolved in an hour or two'.” Because I and my Democratic conferee colleagues have not been part of these secret negotiations, and because your work on the vast majority of the bill seems to be complete, I request that you release the results of your work to date. While there may be minor details that have not been resolved, I trust you can call those matters to our attention and we will, in good faith, note that you have not resolved those issues. I do appreciate your commitment to release the text at least 24 hours in advance of the final conference meeting, but such a short period will not provide enough time for Members and the public to adequately understand this very lengthy, complex, and vitally important piece of legislation. With every good wish. Sincerely, JOHN D. DINGELL RANKING MEMBER