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Western Business Leaders Say Two Bills in Congress Show "Fork in the Road" on American Energy Independence

(from Western Business Roundtable)

One bill would increase energy independence; the other would force greater dependence on foreign imports, Western business leaders say. Two competing bills in the House Natural Resources Committee starkly illustrate a choice facing Congress today, say Western business leaders: promote greater American energy independence by supporting responsible development of the nation's natural resources, or push the U.S. toward increased reliance on foreign energy imports by advancing legislation that seeks to limit domestic access and production.

The two bills at issue are the bipartisan American Conservation and Clean Energy Independence Act (H.R. 2227), introduced by U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), and the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act (H.R.3534), known as the "CLEAR" Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV).

The Roundtable told Congress last week that the Murphy bill would "move us toward greater energy independence," while the Rahall bill "is nothing short of a direct frontal attack against American energy production."

"Exploring for domestic energy in outer continental shelf areas is critical to moving America to greater energy independence, and H.R. 2227 would move us in that direction," said Roundtable CEO Jim Sims. Sims noted that, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, America's OCS areas hold approximately 450 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas resources and 85 billion barrels of oil.

"That is enough oil to replace current Persian Gulf imports for nearly 60 years," he said.

In sharp contrast, according to Sims the Rahall bill would "discourage investment in expanded domestic energy production, both onshore and offshore, and will thus increase our reliance on imported foreign energy."

"The choice for Congress is clear," said Sims. "Support for responsible development of our nation's energy and natural resources safeguards the nation's economic and national security interests and creates more American jobs."

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To read this in Western Business Roundtable, click here.
Contact: Michelle Hindmarch, Western Business Roundtable, 303.577.4615
or go to: www.westernroundtable.com