U.S. House Passes "Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act"
In a stunning 264 Yea - 163 Nay victory, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly for passage of the H.R. 6 - Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act.
Congressman Dennis Rehberg (R-MT) voted against this landmark piece of legislation that seeks to reduce our dependence on oil and protect the environment, and end the needless squander of billions in taxpayer handouts to Big Oil.
According to a recent report by Friends of the Earth, "oil and gas companies continue to benefit from billions in handouts courtesy of American taxpayers. Between tax incentives, royalty relief, research and development subsidies, these companies stand to receive more than $31.6 billion from the federal government over the next five years."
HR 6 would ensure that oil companies awarded drilling leases in 1998 and 1999 pay their fair share in royalties. It would also close loopholes and end giveaways in the tax code for Big Oil.
Below is Rehberg's flimsy constituent letter asserting his position. Notice it pays no mention to government taxpayer handouts to Big Oil, all of which are already experiencing record profits...
REHBERG: Thank you for contacting me regarding energy issues. It's good to hear from you.
It is no secret that the United States does not have a coherent energy policy, either long-term or short-term. Today we are more dependent on foreign oil than ever before. The Department of Energy predicts that in less than 20 years, America will rely on foreign countries for nearly 65 percent of our energy needs. This is not only a threat to our economy, it is a threat to our national security.
Unfortunately, our energy problems are not confined to oil production. Despite growing demand, our natural gas production has fallen 14 percent since 1973. The result is that natural gas prices are 20 times higher in some parts of the country than they were just one year ago.
The energy problem we are currently experiencing affects virtually every aspect of our nation's economy. High energy costs have caused a number of Montana businesses to either shut down or cut back operations, which is costing Montana much needed jobs. We have got to get a handle on this problem.
I believe we must increase our power generation and transportation capabilities. America has the tools to confront our energy problems, and we must use them. While energy conservation is critical, the U.S. cannot conserve its way out of this energy crunch. It is vitally important that we take steps to increase domestic energy production through access to and exploration of oil and gas prospects, and through new and expanded energy delivery infrastructure, advanced coal technology, solar and wind power. We also have to explore alternative renewable fuels, such as ethanol, which burns clean and supplies an important market for our agriculture products.
America has huge deposits of natural gas, coal and oil. In Montana alone we have several hundred years worth of natural gas and coal deposits. I support investment in developing new technologies that will make good use of our energy resources in a clean and efficient manner.
The bottom line is that we have the natural resources to head off this problem before it gets even worse. But that means we need to develop a national energy policy that encourages the development of our resources in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Thanks again for contacting me. For more information and to sign up for my e-newsletter, please visit my website at http://www.house.gov/rehberg. Keep in touch.