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WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after President Bush spoke at the White House concerning the Administration’s energy proposals:
“It is heartening that President Bush recognizes the perilous relationship between our nation’s continued dependence on foreign sources of oil and America’s national, economic and environmental security. But the fact the President appreciates our dangerous addiction to oil is an insufficient substitute for real, concerted action by the Administration – particularly at a time of record-high gas prices – to move our nation toward energy independence.
“Sadly, this Administration’s policies have done virtually nothing to wean our nation from its addiction to foreign oil. And, the President inexplicably has failed to address this issue with the urgency that it requires.
“House Democrats, in sharp contrast, continue to be very focused on addressing the recent run up in gasoline prices, as well as the long-term challenges of achieving energy independence. In one of our first acts after regaining the Majority in January, House Democrats rolled back $14 billion in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies. We also have named a Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence, which will offer recommendations for action; and we intend to offer a package of energy proposals before Independence Day.
“I personally believe that our nation must initiate a robust national program – akin to the Manhattan Project – that would help move us toward energy independence. In fact, that is underlying idea of the PROGRESS Act – legislation I introduced earlier this year that has the support of more than 110 co-sponsors, and which complements other Democratic efforts, such as Speaker Pelosi’s Innovation Agenda and the Rural Working Group’s biofuels energy package. House Democrats also are committed to acting against – and punishing – anti-competitive practices in the oil industry and price gouging.
“Unfortunately, when it comes to energy independence, the Bush Administration is simply running on empty. It is long past time that we harness the unique American ingenuity that has made our nation the world leader in innovation, invention and technology. When we do, we can achieve real energy independence that strengthens our national security, boosts our economy and protects our environment for future generations.”