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Public Statements

Republican Energy Policy

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GINGREY. Will the gentleman from Illinois yield on that point for a second? It is my understanding, and correct me if I am wrong, that in this country there are known resources, veins of coal in the amount of 1.5 trillion tons, and it is suspected that there may be that much more that is not for sure. But 1.5 trillion tons of coal. And I think we utilize about 22 billion tons a year in this electricity generation. So I just want to make the point that there is so much more of this resource, whether it is in West Virginia or Kentucky or in Illinois, and to not utilize it, as the gentleman says, makes no sense at all.


Mr. GINGREY. This really gives me an opportunity to segue into what the gentleman from Illinois was just talking about in regard to the American Energy Act and, of course, he started his discussion about coal liquefaction and some of the many things we can do as part of that bill, a comprehensive approach.

But in concluding his remarks, he talked about the fact that we have this resource of natural gas and petroleum off the coast of our country, both east and west coast, Outer Continental Shelf, eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, that 10 billion barrels of fuel is estimated in ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.

I took an opportunity, Mr. Speaker, today to write a letter, an e-mail, to my constituents in the 11th District of Georgia, northwest Georgia, both the Republicans and Democrats. Now, I won my last election with about 71 percent of the votes. So it's a highly Republican district. But listen to what I said to them and the response that they gave.

``For months now I have spoken on the House floor almost daily in a concerted effort to convince the Democratic leadership to bring forward legislation that would allow us to drill here and drill now so that we could all pay less at the pump. Last week, I joined my House Republican colleagues to introduce the American Energy Act, a comprehensive bill which would increase our domestic energy supply while also harnessing renewable and alternative energy technologies and improving conservation and efficiency. However, as Congress prepares to adjourn for a 5-week recess, Speaker Pelosi continues to prevent a vote on increasing the amount of domestic oil produced in this country from reaching the House floor.

``As I work to represent your interest in Washington, it is vital that I know your feelings on this issue. Would you take a moment to quickly answer the survey question on the right of this page so that I can take your opinions to Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership and let them know how you feel about this crucial issue.

``Sincerely, Phil Gingrey.''

Here is the question: Do you think Congress should adjourn for a 5-week recess even if no vote is taken to allow offshore drilling on our Outer Continental Shelf for oil and natural gas?

Mr. Speaker, so far, with several hundred responses already in, the results are overwhelming: 94 percent do not support Congress adjourning for recess without legislation that would allow increased drilling. 94 percent.

Now, as I say, I won my last election with 71 percent. This tells you that a lot of good, red-blooded, conservative, hardworking Democrats in my district feel the exact same way we do tonight, Mr. Speaker, as we do this hour in this colloquy. And I know that there are a lot of my colleagues on this floor, Mr. Speaker--and you do, too, I would imagine, who, given the opportunity to have a bill to vote to increase our domestic source and end our dependency on these foreign countries that hate us, would gladly vote. And maybe they will stay here with us come Thursday or come Friday, a sit-in, and say, ``We are not going home until we have a bill to vote on.''

With that, I yield back to my colleague from Texas who is managing the time.


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