Six additional Senators today voiced support for the comprehensive New Energy Reform Act of 2008, or New ERA,' an energy proposal to reduce gas prices, lessen our nation's dependence on foreign oil, and strengthen America's economy.
U.S. Senators John Warner, R-Va., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., Tom Carper, D-Del., John Sununu, R-N.H., and Ken Salazar, D-Colo., have joined the bipartisan coalition led by Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., known informally as the Gang of 10.'
"During the August recess I have been from one end of Georgia to the other and the number one issue I hear about continues to be the high cost of fuel," said Chambliss. "We have a real opportunity to get something done by working together, and I am so pleased to announce that our bipartisan group has added more senators to it, and I feel confident we will continue to see it grow once we resume session after Labor Day. The American people are looking for action on the energy crisis. They are not looking for a political issue. They simply want to be able to make ends meet without having to make difficult budget decisions."
"This is good news," said Conrad. "We all feel a sense of urgency to help ease fuel prices in the short term while addressing our long term needs. This comprehensive, bipartisan framework is now backed by a Gang of 16 because it puts every option on the table."
The group is pleased to have the support of additional colleagues, including Senator Warner, who pioneered offshore drilling legislation in the Senate, and who has called on the executive and legislative branches to reduce fuel consumption by 3 percent for one year.
New ERA includes responsible measures to increase domestic production, significant conservation provisions, consumer tax credits, and calls for a focused effort to transition the nation's motor vehicle fleets to fuels other than gasoline and diesel.
The Senators believe their bipartisan energy plan will generate a groundswell of support among the American people as well as their colleagues in Congress and lead to the development of comprehensive legislation to tackle the nation's energy crisis.
Other members of the bipartisan coalition include: John Thune, R-S.D., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.