DOLE, BIPARTISAN "GANG" OF SENATORS TO DELIVER COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY STRATEGY
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole today joined a bipartisan "gang" of Senators to deliver a comprehensive energy policy designed to lower gas prices and move the United States towards greater energy independence. The proposal is now supported by 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
"For many months, I have been urging my colleagues to lay down their arms and work together to achieve a bipartisan solution to address high gas prices and our nation's dangerous dependence on foreign oil," said Dole. "This plan reflects cooperation and compromise from both sides of the aisle to answer the American people's explicit demand that we deliver a comprehensive solution to our enormous energy challenges."
"This bill will help lower gas prices and move the United States towards greater energy independence by confronting both supply and demand pressures in the market. On the demand side, this proposal takes the right approach by doubling down on conservation and investing in alternative energy. On the supply side, we see a commitment to responsibly utilizing America's deep ocean energy reserves. Moving forward, we should also look to utilize our vast oil shale resources in the Rock Mountain West and our energy reserves in Alaska, but this proposal, born of bipartisan compromise, is certainly a step in the right direction."
The New Energy Reform Act of 2008 (New ERA), whose framework was originally released by a bipartisan working group of Senators dubbed the "Gang of 10," incorporates a comprehensive range of strategies to lower energy prices and make the United States more energy independent, including:
Increasing access to America's domestic energy reserves by opening additional acreage in the Gulf of Mexico for leasing and giving Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia the option of allowing energy exploration at least 50 miles offshore;
Enhancing conservation through a variety of tax incentives and providing a tax credit of $2,500 for the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles;
Investing $7.5 billion in research and development to break technological barriers to alternative fuel vehicles;
Providing $7.5 billion to help American auto manufacturers become the world's leader in making alternative fuel vehicles;
Initiating a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of primarily non-petroleum fueled vehicles and a tax credit of up to $2,500 for the retro-fitting of existing vehicles with advanced alternative fuel engines;
Providing a CO2 sequestration credit for use in enhanced oil recovery to increase production from existing wells and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
Supporting nuclear energy by increasing staff at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, providing workforce training, accelerating depreciation for nuclear plants and supporting research and development on spent fuel recycling to reduce nuclear waste.
On May 22, Dole, along with six of her colleagues, called for the creation of an Oil and Gas Market Fraud Task Force to police oil speculators and ensure that energy markets are functioning properly and fairly.
On June 26, Dole co-sponsored the Gas Price Reduction Act, which would increase domestic energy exploration and production, bolster conservation measures and strengthen the U.S. futures markets.
On July 15, Dole joined a group of bipartisan Senators in calling for the White House to hold a national conference on energy with lawmakers and policy experts to breakdown the partisan barriers to reaching a comprehensive energy solution.
On July 24, Dole introduced legislation to repeal $17 billion in tax breaks for oil companies and redirect that funding to investments in alternative and renewable energy sources.