Etheridge to vote for comprehensive energy bill

Washington, D.C. -— U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) announced yesterday that he will vote in favor of a comprehensive energy bill that will increase American oil production, invest in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency technology, end giveaways to big oil companies, and create jobs here at home.

The U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote yesterday on H.R. 6899, The Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act.

“America needs a long-term energy strategy that will free our nation from the grip of foreign oil, and that is why I will vote in favor of The Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act,” said Etheridge.

“[The] …legislation will allow for increased domestic drilling and renewable energy production, creating good-paying jobs here at home instead of sending $700 billion each year to the Middle East. And it will end taxpayer-funded giveaways to big oil companies that are reaping record profits while North Carolina families struggle to afford to fill their tanks.”

H.R. 6899 will:

  • Expand the Domestic Energy Supply
  • Allow states to “opt-in” to offshore drilling by passing a state law to permit leasing between 50 and 100 miles offshore.
  • Open the remaining Outer Continental Shelf beyond 100 miles to oil and gas leasing.
  • Require oil companies to drill on the 68-million acres of land, on and offshore, that they currently hold leases on.
  • Increase domestic oil production in Alaska.
  • Promote natural gas and E-85 Infrastructure by providing incentives for installing natural gas pumps in service stations and homes and requires service stations owned by the big oil companies to install at least one alternative fuel pump.
  • Invest in Renewable Energy Sources:

  • Extend and expand tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy, fuels from America’s farms, plug-in hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings and appliances.
  • Create a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve paid for by making oil companies pay their fair share for drilling on public lands.
  • Lower Costs to Consumers and Protect Taxpayers
  • Ensure that oil companies pay their fair share of taxes for drilling on public lands on flawed leases that do not require them to pay royalties.
  • Repeal tax subsidies for the big five oil companies that are reaping record profits and invest the money in developing alternative fuels.
  • Release oil from the Strategic Petroleum reserve and replace it with heavy crude oil.
  • Improve Energy Efficiency and Conservation
  • Strengthen energy efficiency in buildings to bring down energy costs.
  • Provide incentives to lenders and financial institutions to provide lower interest loans to consumers who build buy or remodel their homes to improve their energy efficiency.
  • Reduce public transit fares for commuter rail and buses and expands service.