Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici issued the following statement regarding today’s speech by President Bush on the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the nation’s oil and gas supply.
Chairman Domenici’s statement:
I applaud the President for taking immediate action to assist the nation’s energy supply industry. We as a nation must work together to rebuild the country’s energy infrastructure by increasing oil and gas supply while lowering demand through conservation. The recent hurricanes underscored how vulnerable we are to any major disruption of our energy supply. We consume our energy as soon as we produce it and we rely heavily on the Gulf Coast states for the production of oil and gas and the refining of gasoline. When that supply is disrupted, prices skyrocket.
The United States will always need oil and gas. In the energy bill, we took steps to reduce that reliance by expanding our investment in hydrogen, nuclear power and renewable fuels in a bid to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. But in a push to get the urgent steps done now, we left the politically impossible for another day.
The recent hurricanes may have heralded the dawn of that new day. I propose we, as the nation's energy leaders, muster political will from this tragedy just as the people of the Gulf Coast are mustering personal courage. While the people of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi rebuild their lives, energy leaders can take the lessons of Rita and Katrina to take the tough steps after the storms that couldn't be taken before.