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Release: House Adopts Connolly-Polis Amendment to Cut Oil Shale Subsidy

Press Release

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The U.S. House of Representatives today adopted an amendment offered by Congressmen Gerry Connolly of Virginia and Jared Polis of Colorado to slash $25 million from failed oil shale research subsidies and redirect the funds toward deficit reduction.

The Connolly-Polis amendment passed the House Wednesday by a vote of 208-207. The amendment removed the $25 million oil shale subsidy from the Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which passed the House Wednesday evening during a late night session.

"For 100 years, oil shale advocates and big energy companies have been selling us the promise of cheap energy through oil shale. Despite those efforts, no company has been able to deliver on that false promise," Connolly said. "There is no difference between shale oil and snake oil."

"American taxpayers already have funded billions of dollars in subsidies for this failed research. It is time to end this sham and stop wasting taxpayer dollars. Our successful amendment stops this boondoggle in its tracks," Connolly said.

"Despite industry claims, oil shale development won't produce affordable American energy and won't create jobs," Connolly said. "Just a few weeks ago, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pointed out that the House Majority continues to confuse shale oil with oil shale. They sound similar, but they are completely different."

Put simply, oil shale is a rock, while shale oil is a liquid. While shale oil is experiencing a boom in development using technology similar to that used to extract natural gas, oil shale technology simply does not exist, a fact recently confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office.

"Given current budget constraints we cannot continue to throw money after a non-existent, uneconomical energy source," Connolly said.

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