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Gallegly: House-passed ‘Energy' Bill Running on Empty

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

The so-called energy bill passed by the House of Representatives today further threatens the economic and national security of the United States by increasing federal spending and raising taxes while doing nothing to increase domestic supplies, Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties) said.

"What America needs is an honest comprehensive energy program that fosters conservation, develops alternative energies, increases domestic oil and gas supplies, and allows new refineries to be built," Gallegly said. "Instead, the House of Representatives today sent Americans an empty tank that will siphon tax dollars while taking us nowhere but deeper into crisis."

The bill:

Allows states to opt into offshore drilling, but disallows exploration within 50 miles of the coast, which is where all experts say the oil is. It also does not give states any revenue sharing from oil and gas from offshore leases.

It also forces interior states to opt in to developing oil shale deposits, but, again, doesn't share any of the profits with the states or local communities if they do.

The bill imposes $5.8 billion of new fees on some leases that currently pay no royalties to the companies. It also imposes $1.8 billion in new fees on non-producing Gulf of Mexico leases and requires retroactive lease payments back to October 2007 on some leases.

While stopping exploration and development and imposing fees on leases that aren't producing, it stops alternative energy development by tying federal expenditures on renewable energy to revenues gathered from the exploration of domestic oil and gas that the bill prohibits.

The bill does not provide for any expansion of U.S. refining capacity.

It would burden American families with $19 billion in new taxes applied to their energy bills, at a time when families are already scraping to make ends meet.

In addition, the bill provides for no nuclear energy, continues the ban on drilling in the Alaskan arctic wasteland, and ignores clean coal and coal-to-liquid technologies.

"This is not an energy bill," Gallegly said. "It's a black hole sucking in innovation and foresight and leaving us in an even deeper energy crisis."

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