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 April 25, 2006

Energy and Common Sense:
Both in High Demand, But in Short Supply

Resources Committee to start hearings on supply from federal lands...again

WASHINGTON - Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Resources Committee, issued the following statement today as record-breaking energy prices face the nation and squeeze consumers:

"Time and time again, Republicans have warned that America would end up at the mercy of OPEC if we didn't put Americans to work producing more of our own energy," Pombo said. "We were right, as the price at the pump illustrates, again."

Obstructionists in Congress have blocked efforts to increase domestic supplies of energy at every turn since 2001. Accurately characterized by Environment & Energy Daily in 2003, American energy supply measures have been "paralyzed behind a long list of Democratic amendments and bickering" as Democrats are "courted by environmental groups who want to derail an energy bill at all costs." NO! continued to be the Democrat energy plan well into 2004 as well, as they even voted against increasing supplies of renewable energy on federal lands. 2005 marked the completion of the Energy Policy Act, absent most Democrat support and real American supply efforts to lower prices for consumers.

"If America was facing shortages of milk or water, Congress would certainly take steps to increase supplies," Pombo continued. "But as soon as we start talking about oil and natural gas - the lifeblood of our economic and national security - liberals in Congress turn the simple principle of supply and demand on its head in ways that defy logic and common sense. Opposing everything accomplishes nothing, except high prices and economic vulnerability for Americans."

As developing nations like India and China increase the use of energy to improve the quality of life for their people, global demand for energy continues to rise with prices in tow. Fortunately, American taxpayers own roughly 2 billion acres of federal lands and the massive energy resources that lie beneath them. Putting Americans to work producing this energy is the key to lower prices and a strong economy.

"While some in Congress chain themselves to the door of supply - keeping the resources of ANWR, the deep ocean, and other federal lands under lock and key - many Americans today are struggling to get to work because of high gas prices. This country has made incredible strides in conservation and efficiency, and we must continue to improve, but Americans cannot conserve their way out of an empty tank of gas. Democrats must join Republicans to increase supply. There is no silver bullet in solving this side of the equation, but a billion barrels here, and a billion barrels there, and pretty soon we are talking about real energy."

The Resources Committee renews its efforts to increase supplies of all forms of American energy this week with hearings on renewable and alterative energy production.





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