HALL SIGNS DISCHARGE PETITION AIMED AT LOWERING GAS PRICES
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX/4) joined House Republicans in signing a discharge petition to bring legislation to the Floor that would provide relief for Americans by reducing the high cost of gasoline. Hall signed the petition in support of H.R. 3089, the No More Excuses Energy Act of 2007, introduced by Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas. Hall is a cosponsor of the bill.
"One sure way to bring down the cost of gasoline is to increase domestic production and refinery capacity," Hall said. "This bill provides incentives for new American oil refineries and investments in clean energy sources such as wind, nuclear, and captured carbon dioxide. It also promotes environmentally sensitive exploration of a small portion of ANWR (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and the outer continental shelf - areas which are currently closed to domestic energy production."
The bill encourages new refinery construction and the use of shale oil or tar sands. It allows for a minimum of 10 sites on previously closed land to be made available for energy production within two years of the legislation being signed into law. The bill boosts alternative energy development by extending the Wind Production Tax Credit for an additional 10 years and promotes an increase in nuclear energy by providing tax incentives to offset the cost of training plant employees.
"This is one of a series of measures that the Republican Caucus will offer over the summer to help lower gas prices," Hall said. "As American families and businesses struggle with $4 per gallon gasoline and higher prices at the grocery store, Congress has a responsibility to take meaningful action on behalf of all Americans. It is frustrating that the same members of Congress continue to oppose efforts to increase production of domestic sources of oil and gas."
The Department of Energy and Department of Interior estimate that total American energy resources that are currently off-limits for production contain 175.28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and more than one trillion barrels of oil. This is enough oil to replace OPEC imports for over 50 years and enough natural gas to supply all U.S. needs for 30 years. America is the only oil-producing nation that has placed a substantial amount of its energy potential off-limits.
"Production of these domestic resources would help reduce the high cost of energy for Americans, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create American jobs and help boost our economy," Hall said. "We will continue to promote new technologies and renewable energy sources for the future, but for the meantime, our country continues to rely on fossil fuels. This is not only a matter of energy security - this is a matter of national and economic security."