Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10) today issued the following statement concerning the so-called "energy" package (H.R. 6899) considered in the House last night:
"The vote before the House last night was not about addressing our nation's energy needs or decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. It was about politics. Plain and simple. The House majority leadership knows it and even some Democrats in the Senate urged no' votes because they know this bill is just an imitation of a real energy bill.
"The American people have made it clear they want Congress to pass a comprehensive all of the above' energy package that gets us on the road to energy independence, not some bogus measure that is aimed at providing political cover.
"I support -- and have voted -- to allow environmentally friendly oil and gas exploration and drilling off our coasts. That's what the American people want.
"I support -- and have voted -- to allow environmentally responsible oil and gas exploration and drilling in remote areas of Alaska. That's what the American people want.
"I support looking at every option including wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal and biofuels. That's what the American people want. And it is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 6566, the American Energy Act, which provides a comprehensive renewable energy strategy that would increase the supply of American-made energy, improve conservation and efficiency and promote new and expanding energy technologies to help lower the price at the pump and reduce America's increasingly costly and dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Regrettably, the majority leadership will not let this bill come to the floor.
"What good does it do for us to pass a measure that permanently locks up 80 percent of American energy Continental Shelf or more than 10 million barrels of oil on Alaska's remote North Slope?
"What good does it do to pass a measure that doesn't provide for any new refineries to be built on American soil?
"And with the little bit of offshore drilling that the bill does allow, Virginia and other coastal states are blocked from sharing in the tax revenue as federal law now allows for other states. That is ridiculous. Gulf coast states now get a share of the revenue from drilling off their shores and Virginia should be treated equally. This is money that could be put toward improving our state's transportation problems.
"This bill doesn't get America on the path to energy independence. In fact, it doesn't even get us pointed in that direction."
Wolf voted for energy legislation (H.R. 6) enacted last December that boosted fuel economy standards for the auto industry for the first time in almost two decades, a change that will save fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. He also cosponsored the Fuel Economy Reform Act (H.R.1506) to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for automobiles.
In addition to CAFE legislation and the comprehensive American Energy Act (H.R. 6566), Wolf is a cosponsor of:
* H.R.539 -- Buildings for the 21st Century Act to increase and extend the energy efficient commercial buildings tax deduction.
* H.R.550 -- Securing America's Energy Independence Act to extend the investment tax credit with respect to solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property.
* H.R.594 -- Prevent Unfair Manipulation of Prices (PUMP) Act to bring unregulated over-the-counter trading under the oversight of the government and also increase penalties for speculators found to be unfairly manipulating the oil futures market.
* H.R.632 -- H-Prize Act to establish monetary prizes for achievements in overcoming scientific and technical barriers associated with hydrogen energy (Included as part of H.R. 6 signed into law on in December 2007).
* H.R.2279 -- Expanding American Refining Capacity on Closed Military Installations to expedite the construction of new refining capacity on closed military installations in the United States.
* H.R.3089 -- No More Excuses Energy Act to secure reliable energy by increasing refinery capacity, allowing for environmentally sensitive drilling on the outer continental shelf and ANWR, and boosting alternative energy by extending the wind production tax credit.
* H.R.5984 -- Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act to provide for the limited continuation of clean energy production incentives and incentives to improve energy efficiency.
* H.R.6107 -- American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act to establish an environmentally sound and competitive oil and gas leasing program for the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources in the Coastal Plain of Alaska.
* H.R.6260 -- New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence to promote research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of technologies through a system of grants and prizes on the scale of the original Manhattan Project.
* H.R.6709 -- National Conservation, Environment, and Energy Independence Act to increase the production of domestic energy sources, dedicate fixed percentages of the royalties received for conservation programs, environmental restoration projects, renewable energy research and development, clean energy technology research and development, increased development of existing energy sources, and energy assistance for those in need, and share a portion of the royalties with producing states.
* H.R. 6781 -- Virginia Offshore Drilling to authorize the state of Virginia to petition for authorization to conduct natural gas or crude oil exploration and extraction activities in any area that is at least 50 miles beyond the coastal zone of the state and allow revenues to be shared with the state.