Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Contact:Brendan Daly/Nadeam Elshami, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Democratic Committee Chairs and Members held a news conference this afternoon to discuss proposals to combat skyrocketing energy prices and create a New Direction for energy independence. Below are the Speaker’s remarks, as prepared:
“Two weeks ago, I sent the President a letter urging him to sign legislation that would help American families with the rising price of gasoline.
“This week, we heard back from the Administration. Instead of forward-looking solutions to address these challenges, the President offers two ways of dealing with the energy crisis.
“Drill and veto.
“Drilling is the failed energy policy of yesterday that has brought us record gas prices today.
“By threatening to veto legislation that will help families with the price at the pump, the President is forbidding us to move our nation to a 21st century energy policy.
“Congress has worked with the President to increase fuel economy standards for cars and trucks for the first time in 32 years, dramatically boost efficiency standards for buildings, lighting, and appliances, and invest in homegrown biofuels.
“Congress will continue to move forward with a forward-looking energy agenda. We ask the President to work with us again.
“Before the Memorial Day break, we will be bringing to the floor a comprehensive energy tax package that promotes research and development and promotes efficiency.
“This week, we heard from economists who said we would help reduce prices for consumers by temporarily suspending the fill of oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In 2000, when we did this, the price of oil decreased immediately – and by the end of the year the price of oil went from $30 to $20 per barrel.
“Today, led by Chairman Markey, we will send a letter to the President again calling on him to temporarily suspend filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But if the President does not act, Congress will with legislation.
“Before Memorial Day, we will move updated and expanded legislation to hold OPEC accountable for price-fixing. It will provide additional resources also to prosecute price fixing by the oil industry.
“The Farm Bill, which will be on the floor next week, will promote the next generation of cellulosic biofuels such as switchgrass and increase the oversight authority to detect and prevent manipulation of energy prices.”