Despite fuel costs at levels previously only seen in Europe, the Democratic leadership in this Congress refuses even to allow a vote on increasing American energy production. Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leading House Democrats are trying to hike taxes on domestic energy production and increase our reliance on OPEC.
Discharge Petition Pending
The latest plan of House Democrats is to have trial lawyers sue Venezuela and Saudi Arabia because gas prices are high. Everyone knows their “plan” to tax and sue America to lower gas prices will fail. Regarding Venezuela, some Democrats even want to follow Hugo Chavez and allow government takeover and control of private energy companies, which will lead to gas shortages last seen during the Jimmy Carter era.
On June 10, I introduced a discharge petition to force a vote on a bill to increase U.S. energy production and invest in alternative sources of energy. Texas Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry introduced this appropriately named bill, the No More Excuses Energy Act (H.R. 3089), last year in an effort to increase the supply of energy produced in America, but Democrats refuse even to allow a vote on this bill.
Since Speaker Pelosi will not bring this bill to the House floor, a discharge petition is the only way to force a vote on this legislation. House rules state that a discharge petition must have 218 signatures (a simple majority) in order to bring a bill to the floor for a vote. I am working hard to bring both Democrats and Republicans together in support of this bill. To date, I have over 150 signatures on my discharge petition, and I, along with the frustrated American people, will continue to press Congress to act immediately.
The actual bill is simple and straightforward: It permits drilling for oil in ANWR in Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf and the Gulf of Mexico, building new refineries and nuclear plants and developing alternative energy sources are all in this bill. According to recent estimates, America would not have to import one million barrels of oil per day if President Clinton had not vetoed exploration of ANWR in 1996. Drilling in ANWR would translate to over $40 billion per year of energy America would not have to import.
The No More Excuses Energy Act would return much of our energy production back to the United States and create good-paying American jobs, instead of sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to prop up countries such as Venezuela that are opposed to American ideals.
House Republicans are demonstrating daily to the America people that we are the party of increased American energy production. If the Democratic leadership in Congress holds us back, then they will have to answer to the American people in November. Democratic members in conservative districts are at a crossroads: They can either stand with the American people and support a bill like the No More Excuses Energy Act, or they can stick with Speaker Pelosi as gas prices rise and America remains dependent on foreign energy. For America’s sake, I hope these Democrats will support American production.
Your Help Needed
Through your help, we can continue to create a national groundswell of attention on this issue and this bill. We need citizens across America to let their representatives know that they will not tolerate members of Congress who gloss over the current energy crisis and continue to make excuses for doing nothing.
Right now, many families in my south-central Michigan district are giving up nights eating out at restaurants or family vacations in order to cover the rising cost of gasoline. Working families are paying twice as much to commute and pick up their kids from school and sports. If no action is taken, families will soon be giving up much more than they are now.
The American people believe in expanding our American energy supply and developing alternatives to break our dependence on foreign oil. It is time Congress agreed.