Lewis: Democrat Smoke and Mirrors Energy Bill a Sham
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a move designed to skirt the issue of the nation’s energy crisis, the House Democrat majority today will attempt to pass flawed energy legislation that will do little to increase domestic energy production or lower the price of gas. Rep. Jerry Lewis, Ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee – which has carried the annual off-shore drilling moratorium – will oppose the Democrat plan.
Lewis said that the Democrat majority’s fear over losing amendments related to drilling in outer-continental shelf has caused the annual Appropriations process to grind to a halt. In fact, the Committee has not met since a drilling amendment was offered during a markup 82 days ago – a markup which was abruptly cancelled by the Majority. Now, instead of having a fair and open debate and a continuation of the normal committee process, the Democrat majority will attempt to force through a hollow energy bill that would permanently bar off-shore energy exploration off the vast majority of the nation’s coastlines.
“Just like a bad magic trick, this smoke and mirrors energy bill is a sham that voters will see right through,” Lewis said, “To make matters worse, this legislation will hurt – not help – the effort to find comprehensive, substantive, and long term solutions to our energy crisis.”
In addition, Lewis continued, the Democrats did not include a provision in the bill to allow states to fairly share in the potential revenue generated by energy production off their respective coastlines – a strategy designed to ultimately prevent drilling while maintaining political coverage on the issue. “These backdoor disincentives will prevent states from taking advantage of their energy resources. This is nothing but a ‘smile through the teeth’ attempt by the Democrat majority to maintain the status quo at the expense of every gas-buying American,” Lewis continued.
In addition, Lewis added, the Democrat energy package will continue to prevent any energy exploration on the Arctic coastal plain in Alaska or oil shale exploration in
Colorado . The bill also does not provide for an expansion of nuclear power, development of clean coal technology, or advancement of new oil refineries.
“With our economy on the brink, we need real, substantive energy solutions. An all of the above energy package – such as the American Energy Act - that includes the lifting of the outer-continental shelf drilling moratorium, alternative energy development, and energy efficiency incentives - should be given an immediate and fair vote,” Lewis said.