Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Republicans Continue Energy Protest On House Floor

Aug 12: House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) announced they are continuing the historic gas prices revolt and urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to reconvene the House and schedule an up-or-down vote on the American Energy Act (H.R. 6566), the House Republicans’ comprehensive plan to increase production of American energy to lower gas prices. The bill, introduced by Representative Boehner on July 22, has 127 cosponsors.

House Republicans have transformed their “all-of-the-above” energy strategy into a single piece of legislation: the American Energy Act. The bill -- a product made possible by energy policies proposed by Members throughout the House Republican Conference -- they say will increase the supply of American-made energy, improve conservation and efficiency, and promote new and expanding energy technologies to help lower the price at the pump and reduce America’s increasingly costly and dangerous dependence on foreign sources of energy.

In a release, the Republicans said, "House Democrats are in chaos. Not only are they continuing to feel the heat in their congressional districts from Americans fed up with paying high gas prices, but they also are buckling under the weight of immense public support for more production of American energy to help bring down the price at the pump. The latest example: Speaker Pelosi herself, who yesterday on CNN’s Larry King Live said that the House 'can have a vote' on expanded drilling for oil and gas."

In a second release, Representative Boehner said, "If Speaker Pelosi is truly sincere about having a vote on deep ocean oil and gas drilling to help bring down fuel costs, she should use her power as Speaker to call Congress back into session immediately and schedule a vote on the American Energy Act. Ever since Speaker Pelosi adjourned Congress for a five-week break while Americans are left to suffer at the pump, House Republicans have taken our message of more American-made energy and lower gas prices directly to the American people – on the floor of the House and in communities across the country. Based on the Speaker’s comments last night, it is clear our unprecedented nationwide effort is having an impact.

“Our message to Speaker Pelosi is very simple: we are ready to vote on more energy production and lower gas prices right now, and we should not wait one more day to begin giving the American people the relief they expect and deserve. If you meant what you said last night, we welcome you and your Democratic colleagues to join us in our historic call to action on American energy. End your five-week break early and call Congress back into session now so we can vote for more American-made energy and lower gas prices without any further delay.”

Although Speaker Pelosi did not respond directly to the Republicans, she has posted a series of responses on her website. On August 8 she posted the Top 10 for the House GOP on Energy and said, "As a small band of House Republicans remain on the House floor to call for 'drill only' legislation that would not bring immediate relief to consumers, their constituents deserve to know why their representatives in Congress have failed to support serious, responsible proposals put forward by the New Direction Congress. Americans have a right to know if House Republicans will reverse their opposition to these proposals; will Senate Republicans, including Senator McCain, stop blocking these bills; and will the President sign them?"

She said earlier that, "The New Direction Congress has repeatedly brought forth proposals to increase domestic supply, reduce the price at the pump, protect American consumers and businesses and promote renewable energy and conservation. To date, Democrats have brought forward 13 major initiatives to accomplish the above goals, yet each time a majority of House Republicans have voted against these proposals." She said, "A key proposal would codify Democrats’ call for releasing a small portion of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Releasing a small amount from the government stockpile is a positive short-term step that would provide immediate impact on the price at the pump and ease the pain American families and businesses are feeling every day." She also said, "Republicans falsely claim that drilling in protected areas will provide immediate relief to America’s consumers. The Republican plan to drill on protected lands will result in only a 2 cents savings more than 10 years from now."

Access a release from House Republicans (
click here). Access the 2nd Republican release (click here). Access a Republican website summarizing H.R. 6566 (click here). Access Speaker Pelosi's many responses to Republicans including a list of the 13 measures that large percentages of House Republicans voted against (click here). Access legislative details for H.R. 6566 (click here). [*Energy]