(Washington, D.C.) Today, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers explains why the energy bill recently passed in the House will do little, if anything, to reduce the cost of energy that is hurting families and small businesses in Eastern Washington. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers was among 189 Democrats and Republicans who did not support the bill for several reasons because, among other things, the bill:
Does not contain any provisions allowing for exploration and development in ANWR or expanding nuclear power
Prohibits exploration of known oil reserves off the coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico
Restricts oil shale development
Allows lengthy and expensive legal challenges that significantly delay energy exploration
“If we were serious about reducing the high energy costs hurting Eastern Washington small businesses and families, Congress would give states incentives to use their natural resources in an environmentally-friendly way to create energy,” McMorris Rodgers said. “The ‘energy’ bill unfortunately does nothing to open new, economically viable, sources of American energy.”
McMorris Rodgers offered an amendment to the bill, which would have classified hydropower as a renewable resource. Democrats, however, refused to allow amendments to the legislation which they introduced only 24 hours before voting on it.
In addition, the bill contained several items unrelated to energy, including an authorization for $1.7 billion taxpayer subsidy for public transportation, when ridership is already at record levels. The bill also directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop loan products for “green” homes—less than a month after the federal government had to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
McMorris Rodgers supports the American Energy Act, an “all of the above” approach to lowering America’s energy costs through increased conservation, investment in renewable energy resources like hydropower, wind and solar power as well as increased energy exploration. She is the founder of the Congressional Hydropower Caucus which held its first briefing about the benefits of hydropower as a renewable resource on Tuesday.