Congressman Tim Bishop today voted with a majority of the House of Representatives to pass comprehensive energy legislation that will help fight high energy costs, invest in renewable energy sources to create American jobs, expand domestic drilling offshore and on land, and increase our security by freeing America from the grip of foreign oil.
"If George Bush and his supporters had their way, Americans would be paying even higher energy prices while Big Oil would get more land to hoard, more taxpayer dollars, and more record profits," said Bishop. "This legislation will produce more energy here at home while investing in technologies and green jobs that are paving the way to a renewable energy future."
The Comprehensive American Energy Security & Consumer Protection Act will roll back tax breaks for Big Oil in a time of record oil company profits and require oil companies to pay royalties already owed to taxpayers. The legislation permits offshore drilling in waters between 50 and 100 miles offshore if the state allows leasing off its coastline by enacting a state law. Without this provision, drilling would be permitted as close as 3 miles offshore when the current moratorium expires at the end of this month.
The legislation will create millions of jobs by investing in wind, solar and natural gas. The bill requires utility companies to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sourcessuch as wind power, biomass, wave, tidal, geothermal and solarby 2020, which will save consumers $13-18 billion cumulatively by 2020 and reduce dangerous global warming emissions.
The Act also takes steps to immediately bring down the price of gasoline by temporarily releasing nearly 10 percent of the oil from the government's stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and replacing it later with heavier, cheaper crude oil.
The 110th Congress has taken critical steps to address our nation's energy independence. Last year, Congress passed and the President signed historic energy legislation with provisions to combat oil market manipulation, increase vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon in 2020 - the first Congressional increase in more than three decades - and promote the use of more affordable American biofuels.
In the spring of 2005, Congressman Bishop introduced the Democratic substitute to the Energy Policy Act that would have diverted subsidies for oil and gas corporations to research and development of alternative and renewable fuel sources. He later introduced the Democratic motion to amend a bill to expand refining capacity that also would have increased penalties against price gouging.