Statement on H.R. 6899, the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act
U.S. Representative Tom Allen, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today issued the statement below regarding H.R. 6899, the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act.
"I will vote for this bill because it will bring immediate relief from high fuel prices to families and small businesses while moving our nation away from dependence on foreign and finite sources of fuel. It is time for bold action to address both our short- and long-term energy challenges.
"An earlier draft of this bill did not protect key fishing grounds off the coast of Maine. I had serious concerns with this proposal and I worked with my New England colleagues to ensure that Georges Bank remains protected. The bill now before us specifically exempts Georges Bank from drilling, ensuring that the nation's oldest and one of its most productive fishing grounds remains protected. This resource is vital to the livelihoods of Maine fishermen and Maine's economy.
"This bill will immediately alleviate high fuel prices by requiring the release of 10 percent of the oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a step which historically has reduced fuel prices by one-third. This bill also addresses long-term challenges by establishing a responsible drilling policy and investing in alternative fuels and technologies that will create good jobs and boost our economy. The bill opens approximately 400 million acres off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling. It creates $18 billion in tax incentives for cellulosic biofuels, solar and wind power, fuel cells, and other alternative technologies and fuels that will create thousands of good American jobs. Finally, the bill repeals the $14 billion in tax giveaways to Big Oil included in the 2005 Cheney energy bill, which I opposed."