Democratic Principles/Priorities for Energy Bill

June 13, 2005
12:15 PM

You’ve heard often from us about the constructive, bipartisan process that Chairman Domenici, Sen. Bingaman and the Senate Energy Committee followed in developing the energy bill that comes to the Senate floor tomorrow.  In drafting and approving that legislation, committee members shared a clear recognition that America needs a reliable and affordable energy supply.


On the eve of floor debate, many of you today will be writing preview stories.  We’d like to help by pointing out the principles and priorities which will guide Democrats as they seek to further improve the Senate energy bill.


Senate Democrats remain fully committed to passing an energy bill that will move America toward energy independence and provide relief to American families hit hard by sky-high energy bills.  In our mind, a good energy bill must be anchored on four principles: First, it must increase supplies from all available sources, and help develop renewable technologies.  Second, it must ensure that the energy we do produce is transported and consumed as efficiently as possible.  Third, good energy policy must reduce the impact of energy production and consumption on the environment.  And fourth, sound energy policy requires energy markets that are transparent and fair to consumers.


The bill reported by the Energy Committee is an excellent start in that direction; however, it’s not perfect.  So look for Democrats to push amendments that include establishing an ambitious goal for reducing our dependence on foreign oil; increasing the production of clean, renewable energy; and taking real action to address global warming.


Good energy legislation, like all good legislation, is the product of consensus.  Senate Democrats look forward to continuing to work to find bipartisan solutions to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and firmly placing our country on the path toward energy independence.  By continuing to work in a bipartisan manner, we stand a nice chance of success.


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Bill Wicker

Democratic Communications Director

Senate Energy & Natural Resources