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Royce Slams Democrat's Sham Energy Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Royce Slams Democrat's Sham Energy Bill

Today, the House considered H.R. 6899, the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Taxpayer Protection Act. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) strongly opposed this bill.

"This bill fails to provide Americans with more domestic energy production, which will continue to make our country less secure economically and keep gas prices high," said Royce.

"The Democrat bill slaps a permanent ban on 88 percent of offshore oil reserves and provides no incentive for states to drill in the remaining 12 percent by precluding revenue sharing. It blocks oil shale exploration, ANWR, as well as nuclear energy and coal-to-liquid fuel. The bill will provide no new refineries to help increase capacity and it expressly invites lawsuits to prevent new U.S. energy production.

In short, it is a continuation of the moratorium on new domestic energy, which the Democrat-controlled Congress has championed for the last two years. Under Speaker Pelosi's watch, gas prices have doubled.

The Democrat's sham of an energy bill fails to lower gas prices, and high energy prices means more inflation. Why send $360 billion each year to OPEC countries, like Saudi Arabia, when we could be creating U.S. jobs and spending the money here."

The Democrat's energy bill includes:

• No environmentally responsible exploration on the Arctic coastal plain in Alaska.

Today, ANWR has an estimated 10.6 billion barrels of oil. We would be getting about 1.4 million barrels per day, or nearly as much as we get from Venezuela, had President Clinton not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there.

• No exploration of oil shale in the American West.

The Democrats put a moratorium in place last year. In Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming we have the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude oil. Of that, some 800 billion barrels are recoverable with current technology. That's roughly triple the known reserves of Saudi Arabia.

• No new refineries will be expedited.

There hasn't been a new refinery built in 31 years and this bill offers no provisions to cut red-tape. If the Democratic leadership is serious about bringing more oil online then they need to help create more refineries to produce this oil.

• And most problematic, this bill won't even open up offshore drilling - despite its claims.

First, 88 percent of the outer continental shelf's oil reserves are contained within the 50 miles the Democrats want to permanently restrict us from accessing. Second, under the Democrats new proposal, drilling will be permitted 50 to 100 miles off shore, but only for states that choose to opt-in to the program. Since states won't see a dime of revenue generated from off shore drilling, there is no incentive to do so. In the Republican alternative, the American Energy Act, revenues would be shared with the states, with $8.8 billion going to alternative and renewable energy.

Today, our economy is 70 percent dependent on foreign energy sources for gasoline, most of which we get from hostile countries. Over the next ten years, if no action is taken to increase domestic energy sources, it is estimated that the U.S. will spend $10 trillion on foreign oil, much of it going to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, and other OPEC cartel countries.

"One of the sad realities of our current energy crisis is that we have the means to lower the price of oil and to lessen our demand for foreign sources. The only thing standing in our way is Democratic opposition. The moratorium, which prevents drilling and oil shale exploration, will expire on September 30th. The Democrat bill makes that one-year moratorium permanent," said Royce.

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