Energy bill expands conservation, production, diversity

June 15, 2004
12:00 AM
Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici today reiterated the need to pass the energy bill in the light of testimony from a panel of experts at this morning’s full committee hearing on oil and gas prices. Chairman Domenici’s statement: Experts who testified today tell me that the United States is just one supply event disruption away from oil prices even higher than the $42 dollar record set earlier this month immediately following the terrorist attack on western oil workers in Saudi Arabia. I worry that consumers are feeling a false sense of security after the recent drop in oil and gas prices. In the coming weeks, we face the June 30th transfer of sovereignty to Iraq, growing violent in Saudi Arabia, possible turmoil in Venezuela preceding the August 15th referendum on President Hugo Chavez and continue turmoil in Nigeria. Any one of these situations could drive oil prices up again – higher than we thought possible just 15 months ago when oil was $28 a barrel. The energy bill before the Senate is not perfect. I personally support even stronger measures, but we don’t yet have the votes for them. But the bill does more for domestic oil supply than we are doing now. It does more to conserve energy than we are doing now. It does more to diversify and increase our energy supply than we are doing now. The energy bill is the best solution at hand. It addresses our oil supply, gas supply, electricity challenges, our shared desire to protect our environment and our commitment to conserve more energy. In the face of global uncertainty and the probability of a serious disruption in supply, I urge Senate Democrats to stop politicizing energy and pass this bill.