Hoyer: OPEC Cuts More Evidence that U.S. Must Move Towards Energy Independence

Whip Says Democrats Believe Energy Independence Must Be a National Priority

For Immediate Release:

October 20, 2006

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to reports that OPEC decided to cut production by a greater-than-expected 1.2 million barrels a day:

"Efforts by OPEC to cut production and manipulate global oil prices are a reminder that the United States must aggressively pursue efforts to increase energy independence through alternative fuels and energy efficiency.   The nation's dependence on foreign oil and the globalization of markets not only make Americans vulnerable to price spikes, but also leave the nation one natural disaster or terrorist attack away from major economic adversity that threatens our national security.

"The failure of this Republican Congress to address the country's most important issues was painfully obvious to Americans every time they filled their gas tanks this summer.  But seasonal declines in gas prices should not make us complacent. Recent threats from foreign leaders and coordinated efforts by oil producing nations to cut oil supplies are a reminder that we need new and alternative sources of energy more than ever.

"Democrats believe that energy independence must be a national priority.  In July, I, along with a senior group of Democrats, introduced the "PROGRESS" Act.  More than 125 Democrats are now copsonsors of this bill, which is designed to complement the other Democratic energy independence initiatives, including Leader Pelosi's Innovation Agenda and the House Democratic Rural Working Group's BIOFUEL Act.  If Democrats regain the Majority in the House or Senate, we intend to fight for an energy policy that moves us toward energy independence."

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