Rep. Foster Votes for Comprehensive, Bipartisan Energy Solution
Bill Features Largest Expansion of Off-shore Drilling in More Than 25 Years, New Incentives for Developing Renewable Energy, and Creates Hundreds of Thousands of New American Jobs
Tonight, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) joined a bipartisan majority in passing the "Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act," which will begin providing solutions to our energy crisis.
"This evening, I voted to support the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act, which calls for expanding off-shore and domestic drilling that will increase our supply of energy while using the revenue to jumpstart our investment in renewable energy sources," Rep. Foster said.
Added Foster, "Republicans and Democrats alike came together this evening to take action and solve our nation's top issue - reducing gas prices while increasing domestic supply to ensure that our energy future is no longer held hostage by the leaders of OPEC or dictators like Hugo Chavez."
Fifteen Republicans joined the Democratic majority in supporting this legislation, including two Republicans from the Illinois delegation.
The Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act, H.R. 6899, will work to expand the domestic supply and production of energy by allowing responsible off-shore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf as close as 50 miles as well as opening millions of acres of land in Alaska for drilling leases.
In order to maximize domestic supply, the act bans the export of Alaskan oil outside the U.S. It calls for the completion of the pipeline infrastructure into the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) as well as constructing the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, which could create up to 100,000 new jobs.
"This 21st Century solution is the first step to producing more energy while using less, a basic idea that will grow our economy with new jobs while making America more secure and energy independent," Rep. Foster said.
The bill will also temporarily release 10 percent of the light sweet crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve into the marketplace increasing short-term supply.
"With this legislation, we are expanding domestic supply in the short-term by releasing oil from the SPR and in the long-term by opening up new opportunities to drill," Rep. Foster said. "This short-term release should help reduce gas prices."
The new legislation will promote the creation of new green jobs and technological development by including an $18 billion tax cut. H.R. 6899 will extend tax credits on production or investments in energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. In an effort to protect taxpayers, it will end tax subsidies to big oil companies passed in 2004.
Immediately prior to his vote on the "Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act," Rep. Foster also voted for the "National Conservation, Environment and Energy Independence Act," a bill that he co-sponsored along with more than 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans.
Said Foster, "Tonight, I was proud to vote for two bipartisan bills to provide energy solutions that the 14th District families and businesses need."
"As a scientist and businessman, I know that the bipartisan legislation I supported this evening provides the most comprehensive steps toward solving the energy crisis that we've seen in thirty years," Rep. Foster said. "By expanding our domestic supply with new drilling opportunities, and using the revenue to invest in alternatives that will create new American jobs, we are making the U.S. more secure by becoming less reliant on foreign oil."