Hoyer Statement on H.R. 6 Energy Policy Act of 2003

For Immediate Release:

April 10, 2003

Contact:Congresman Steny H. Hoyer

Mr. Speaker, this legislation is a comprehensive energy bill, but an incomplete energy policy.
  
 We need an energy policy that is balanced.  Balanced regionally.  Balanced in terms of promoting energy development and protecting the environment.  Balanced in terms of production and delivery, and in terms of streamlining regulations while protecting consumer interests.  And certainly balanced in terms of addressing short-term problems while creating long-term stability and investing for the energy needs of future generations. 

 Yet, there is no real commitment in this legislation to promote new alternative resources or conservation.  We are missing a major opportunity to invest in the technologies of efficiency – to do more with less – to help us manage our consumption and create thousands of jobs at home.

 Democrats have amendments to address these deficiencies – but most, if not all will be rejected, even though they are good policies that many of my friends on the other side of the aisle would want to support but won’t because the Majority has made many parts of this bill partisan.

 I am especially concerned about the new issues in this debate.  First, electricity restructuring.  This bill ignores the lessons that should have been learned from Enron and California.
  
 A poorly structured market is more susceptible to manipulation and fraud than a market that is properly designed.

 This legislation actually weakens the oversight and tools that our regulatory agencies need to provide the necessary checks and balances, making matters worse.

 I urge my colleagues to support the thoughtful and reasonable provisions in the Dingell substitute to address these deficiencies.

 Secondly, the fuel provisions include mandates that ignore regional disparities in supply and distribution that will lead to increased prices at the pump for consumers on both the east and west coasts.
   
 Mr. Speaker, we need a comprehensive energy policy that is balanced, competitively neutral, and that maximizes our resources.

 This bill fails that test, and thus I urge my colleagues to oppose it.

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