Republican News

Republican News

Apr 16 2004

AMERICA'S URGENT ENERGY CHALLENGES REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE FIX, NOT BABY STEPS

Domenici outlined bill strategy to AGA audience

Sante Fe, NM --- Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici outlined the impact his comprehensive energy legislation will have on America’s urgent energy challenges in a speech today before members of the American Gas Association. Chairman Domenici told natural gas and electricity executives from around the country that the energy bill currently moving through the Senate will improve access to natural gas in the lower 48 states through streamlined permitting, bring an abundant supply of natural gas from Alaska to the rest of the country through the construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline and pave the way for increased LNG imports by providing investment certainty for facility owners. He also outlined the solutions his bill offers to America’s multiple energy challenges and updated executives on the bill’s progress through the Senate. An excerpt of his remarks is included below: “America is facing energy challenges greater than any we’ve faced in the last 30 years. Since 2000, wholesale natural gas prices have climbed 85 percent. Coal prices are up more than 30 percent in the last year. Gasoline prices broke all records last month and will continue to climb through the summer. “Consumers have been hit hard. Industry has been hit hard. Our economy has been hit hard. This Administration, the House and Senate Republicans are committed to passing an energy bill this year that will increase our energy supply, stabilize energy prices, create more than 800,000 jobs and boost our economy. “The bill has been stalled in the Senate since November; but we have made strong progress in the last two weeks. I remain confident that we will get an energy bill before the November elections. “Majority Leader Frist, Chairman Grassley and I successfully moved the energy tax package to the JOBS bill last Thursday. This legislation is slated for Senate consideration next week. There is strong bipartisan commitment to swiftly passing this bill and its companion in the House. We will deliver a JOBS bill with the energy tax provision to the President later this year. “After I get the energy tax package through, I will turn my attention to the authorizing package. That package contains critical provisions – ethanol, electricity, clean coal and loan guarantees for the pipeline – that have strong bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats alike want the key drivers in this package. “While I am moving these two packages through the Senate, I continue to work with House Energy and Commerce Chairman Barton on resolving our differences with the House. Those differences are sharp and the political challenges are real. But make no mistake, Chairman Barton and I share a strong resolve to deliver an energy bill to the President’s desk this year. I am meeting with Chairman Barton next week to map our strategy. “The energy challenges this country faces cannot be addressed by bits and pieces of legislation that only solve one problem at a time. Those who suggest such a strategy can’t see the forest for the trees. We do not have the luxury of baby steps. “Our energy challenges are vast, multiple and urgent. They require a comprehensive solution that modernizes our power grid, ensures reliability, implements advanced technologies, encourages conservation, stimulates production of renewable energies, provides enough clean coal and natural gas to light and heat our homes, creates jobs, ensures a highly-skilled energy workforce and stabilizes energy prices. “The energy bill does every one of these things. Let’s stop politicking our energy problems and pass the bill that solves them.”