Rep. Foster Supports Bipartisan, Comprehensive Energy Bill
24 Dems and 23 GOPers Join Together to Help Solve Energy Crisis
Seeking solutions instead of scoring political points, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14) today joined with a group of Democratic and Republican Members of Congress in support of The National Conservation, Environment and Energy Independence Act that will provide a blue-print for moving America forward.
"Like many, I am frustrated by the partisan bickering that has plagued Washington for years and has not solved the number one issue facing our families and our country," Foster said. "I am proud to join a group of like-minded legislators that realize the best ideas for our country come together when we work together."
Added Foster, "The energy crisis is a complex problem that will not be solved overnight." "We need to begin to find a long-term solution that makes business and scientific sense, and this solution must include an expansion of domestic onshore and offshore drilling, an investment in new and existing clean energy alternatives like solar power, deep drilled geothermal power, wind energy, and sensible development of biofuels."
The National Conservation, Environment and Energy Independence Act focuses on increased domestic production, conservation and the promotion of America's energy independence. Specifically, the bill permits domestic exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas in areas such as the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Part of the revenue obtained from the new leases will be directed toward the development of alternative energy sources. In addition, the bill repeals prohibitions preventing federal agencies from entering into contracts for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel. The bill also provides tax incentives and deductions for renewable energy and energy conservation.
"Families in Illinois are struggling to afford the rising costs of gasoline, and an increase in our domestic oil supply would provide relief to consumers," Foster said. "Besides the potential near-term benefits of an increased oil supply, the legislation works toward our long term energy goals of creating clean, renewable energy in the U.S. so we can begin to end our unhealthy and possibly dangerous dependence on foreign oil."
The legislation did not originate from the House leadership of either party; rather, the bill was created by the efforts of a bipartisan coalition of House members. Members co-sponsoring the bill include Neil Abercrombie (D- HI), John Peterson (R-PA), Gene Green (D-TX), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Jim Costa (D-CA, John Mica (R-FL), Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Mike Pence (R-IN), Don Cazayoux (D-LA) and Dan Burton (R-IN).
"I am proud to join a coalition of colleagues from both parties to take a comprehensive, commonsense step towards ending our dependence on foreign oil and increasing our domestic energy supply," said Foster.
Concluded Foster, "By boosting domestic production by expanding onshore and offshore drilling, investing in conservation and promoting American energy independence, this bipartisan legislation responsibly starts to honestly deal with the energy crisis we face."