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Barton makes case for bill

Prior to appearing at an Arlington forum this morning to discuss the effects of high energy prices, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) was in Ennis Tuesday making his case for the passage of a comprehensive energy bill that includes drilling for oil in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
Barton said Democrats’ stalling on a bill is costing taxpayers money and he was optimistic that early this fall there would be enough Democrats on board to get a “real” energy bill on the floor.
Barton said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was misguided in her recent comment that she was trying to “save the planet.”
“Help us out right now and we’ll work on saving the planet in a couple of years,” Barton said. “Nobody wants to disregard the environmental issues, but the technology is there to allow for these kinds of issues to not be an either/or.”
Barton said the bill he supports, the American Energy Act, is an “all of the above” plan to lower gas and energy prices by encouraging more conservation and efficiency, promoting the use of more alternative and renewable fuels, and expanding drilling on remote lands and far off American shores in an environmentally-safe way.
“That last part is important,” he said in a prepared statement. “Any new American energy plan must include significant domestic exploration. America is a treasure chest of resources and too much of it is off-limits. It is time to unlock our own power so we depend less on hostile foreign sources.”
Barton said he believes Pelosi and other Democrats who have opposed a vote on the bill are on the “wrong side” of public opinion and will eventually lose this battle.
“(Pelosi) doesn’t expose herself to people who think differently than her,” Barton said. “Democracy is a funny thing. You can hold it up. You can stymie it, but you can’t do that forever.”
Barton also said nuclear power is likely to increase as a power source and noted that plans are in the works to build six new nuclear power plants in Texas.
He said if drilling restrictions were lifted today, some offshore sites in the Gulf could be producing oil within six months. He also supports expediting efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by allowing oil companies to put up protection bonds so drilling can begin immediately rather than waiting for the permitting process to be completed, which could take a decade or more.
“When was the last major spill in the U.S.?” Barton asked. “The 60s? It just doesn’t happen anymore.”
Barton was slated to join congressmen Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) and Kenny Marchant (R-Carrolton) at the University of Texas at Artlington Library this morning for a panel discussion on energy prices. Texas Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo and several business leaders were also on the panel.

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Posted by on Aug 21 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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