Republican News

Republican News

Washington, D.C. - Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici will be the keynote speaker tonight at the North American Energy Summit sponsored by the Western Governors Association. Chairman Domenici will address federal, state and local officials from around the country and government and industry leaders from three countries at 7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Chairman Domenici will provide attendees with an overview of the benefits his energy bill will offer to American workers, the economy and American consumers worried about affordable energy. He will also provide an update on recent progress in getting the energy legislation through the Senate. Below is an excerpt from his prepared statement: “In the last month, we have made strong progress in moving our energy bill through the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Frist, Chairman Grassley and I have successfully attached the energy tax package to the JOBS bill. We put the deal together in a meeting in Mr. Frist’s office on March 31st. After some initial resistance from Senate Democrats, Minority Leader Tom Daschle delivered his caucus on a unanimous consent agreement late last week. The energy tax package is now officially part of a major JOBS bill certain to pass the Senate and be signed into law. This is an important victory. I want to thank Senator Frist for his leadership in making this happen and congratulate Senator Daschle on his success in bringing his caucus to the table. The energy tax package includes incentives for renewable energy, the natural gas pipeline, investment in the electricity grid and clean coal production. It is a strong package with broad, bipartisan support. By attaching it the JOBS bill, I have ensured that the larger JOBS bill pays for the $14 billion price tag of the tax package. This averts any budget points of order we would have faced if we had sent the energy tax package to the floor as part of the larger energy bill. When we get that tax package through, I plan to get the authorizing portion of the bill through on a separate track. This bill, too, has several provisions that draw strong, bipartisan support in the Senate. The electricity title addresses several concerns raised by the blackout report two weeks ago, including reliability, personnel training and the use of advanced technologies. The ethanol provisions have the support of Republicans and Democrats from America’s heartland. The loan guarantees for the pipeline are absolutely essential to getting the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline built. Republicans and Democrats alike agree we need this pipeline. Senators from both parties share a similar commitment to the development and deployment of clean coal technologies that offer the promise of more affordable clean coal production for every coal state in this nation. Those are just a few of the drivers that will power the authorizing package through the Senate. I have addressed earlier concerns of cost expressed by the White House and Senate conservatives by stripping some of the costlier provisions out of this package. The authorizing provisions don’t cost taxpayers a dime. In fact, we save taxpayers $1.2 billion with this part of the bill because increased corn production is expected to cost the government less in farm assistance. While pursuing the dual track of getting these two measures through the Senate, I continue to work closely with my House colleagues to address the sharp differences between the leaner Senate energy bill and H.R. 6 – the conference report passed by the House. I will meet next week with House Energy & Commerce Chairman Joe Barton to discuss a path to success that both Chambers can agree to. I don’t want to minimize the differences or the size of this challenge. But I am encouraged by ongoing discussions and the commitment Chairman Barton and I share to passing an energy bill this year. ###