Bishop Votes To Expand Domestic Drilling, Alleviate Energy Crisis
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Sanford Bishop last night voted to address our nation’s energy crisis, reduce gas prices, protect taxpayers, and lessen America’s need for foreign oil by supporting the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act. The legislation, which includes provisions to expand domestic drilling both off-shore and on land, passed the House by a vote of 236 to 189.
“More production of oil and natural gas is needed, but it will not get us to energy independence alone. This legislation will provide us with a supply of domestic energy and give us the tools we will need to wean ourselves off foreign oil over the long term,” said Bishop.
The bill provides the largest opening of land offshore for oil and gas development in our nation’s history by making available the vast areas of the Outer Continental Shelf. Also, it makes available a potential 1.8 trillion barrels of oil by lifting the moratorium on development of oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Additionally, the bill ensures that oil companies are producing energy products from land already in their possession and mandates annual lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
To promote energy independence, the bill extends and expands tax incentives for renewable energy, including plug-in vehicles, renewable electricity, solar and wind, as well as energy efficient homes, buildings and appliances. The bill also encourages every region of the country to be a potential producer by calling for cellulosic biofuels to be produced from a highly diverse array of feed stocks and creates a renewable energy reserve to invest in clean energy sources and fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
To protect American taxpayers, the bill reforms several laws and loopholes which currently allow Big Oil to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. It is estimated that lost revenue from the current, cozy arrangement between Big Oil and the federal government costs American taxpayers about $15 billion.
“Make no mistake, this legislation is not the ultimate solution to our energy crisis, but a decisive first step toward securing our energy future. I am disappointed in my Republicans colleagues who voted against this bill, which gives our country exactly what the majority of the American people have been calling for - more drilling,” said Congressman Bishop. “The perfect should not be the enemy of the good, and this legislation, which will be perfected further in the Senate, is a good bill.”