Finally, an Honest Energy Bill

by William Yeatman on February 25, 2008

in Politics

A front page story in the Washington Times by Patrice Hill reports that Americans are currently most worried by high energy prices.  They should be.  So far, the 110th Congress has passed and President Bush has signed an anti-energy bill, H. R. 6,  that will raise gasoline, auto, food, and appliance prices.  And the House and Senate are actively considering other bills that will increase gas and electricity prices a whole lot more (see, for example, S. 2191).  


But now two members of the House have introduced a bill that would increase domestic oil and natural gas production and thereby lower prices over the long term.  The American-Made Energy Act, H. R. 5890, was introduced by Representatives Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) on February 14.  According to Rep. Nunes’s press release, the bill will open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas exploration.  The tens and hundreds of billions of dollars from leasing and royalty payments would be used to fund a wide range of tax credits, loan guarantees, and grants to encourage renewable vehicle fuels, plug-in hybrid vehicles, coal to liquids, and electricity production from renewable sources and nuclear power plants. 


The 109th Congress failed narrowly to pass bills that would have opened the OCS and ANWR.  The 110th Congress is much more hostile to increasing domestic energy production, so the Nunes-Ross bill isn’t going to become law anytime soon.  But it is a most hopeful sign, nonetheless.  It takes persistence to enact controversial legislation.  By introducing H. R. 5890, Representatives Nunes and Ross have signaled that they are in this fight for the long haul.

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