Marc Morano 202-224-5762 


Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797 


 Inhofe: Energy Bill Would Decrease Energy Prices, Increase American Jobs


WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today joined with Senate Republicans to introduce common sense legislation to address the skyrocketing costs of energy prices on Oklahoman and American families. Rather than raise taxes, block production, increase regulations, and call for investigations, the Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008 actually addresses the nation’s current energy crunch by delivering real energy solutions.  It would increase access to domestic supplies, expand the nation’s refinery capacity, and promote market-based alternatives for our energy future. Importantly, the bill includes key provisions of Senator Inhofe’s Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement & Community Empowerment Act of 2007 (Gas PRICE Act), legislation that is designed to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new refineries.

“I am proud to join with my Republican colleagues today to introduce common sense energy legislation that will bring down the price of gas at the pump and the cost of energy in our homes,” Senator Inhofe said. “Just four months ago I voted against a Democrat energy bill because I believed it failed Oklahoma and the nation by doing nothing to address skyrocketing energy costs. Absent from the Democrat ‘energy’ bill was any attempt to increase domestic energy resources – such as oil, natural gas, nuclear and clean coal technologies – that are essential to securing an American energy supply that is stable, diverse, and affordable.  There should be no surprise that Congress is racing back to action as gas prices continue to rise.

“In stark contrast to the Democrats’ 2007 energy bill, the legislation introduced today would not only help relieve the rising costs of energy, but would increase jobs in Oklahoma and the nation. Our bill seeks to decrease the price of energy by putting Americans back to work by exploring and developing domestic energy resources and increasing domestic refining capacity.”

Increasing Domestic Refining Capacity

“Any legislation to bring down the price of gas at the pump must address domestic refining capacity. I am pleased that key provisions of my Gas PRICE Act legislation have been included in this bill. The provisions are designed to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new refineries. The bill establishes a 360-day deadline for the approval or disapproval of consolidated permit applications for new refineries and a 120-day deadline for permits to expand an existing refinery.  This bill will put an end to the outsourcing of U.S. refining capacity and U.S. jobs.”

Increasing Domestic Energy Exploration

“Increasing domestic energy exploration is also essential. Currently, oil and gas exploration and production is prohibited on 85 percent of America’s offshore waters.  Canada, on the other hand, allows offshore drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes.  Additionally, Cuba is looking to expand drilling which could occur within 45 miles of parts of Florida and with technology that is much less environmentally sound than that used by American companies.  If President Clinton hadn’t vetoed legislation allowing environmentally sensitive exploration on the Coastal Plain of ANWR 10 years ago, today we would have 1 million additional barrels of oil a day coming from ANWR, which would mean lower gas prices for consumers and more energy security. The Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008 allows for environmentally sensible drilling in ANWR.  It also allows individual States to decide if drilling should be permitted in their offshore waters.  Its enactment would allow American companies such as Oklahoma based Devon and Conoco Phillips to increase our domestic supplies, make the nation more energy secure, and keep American jobs and dollars at home.”

Section 526 Repeal

“I am also pleased that our bill includes the repeal of Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Three weeks ago I introduced legislation repealing Section 526, which prohibits federal agencies from contracting to procure nonconventional, or alternative, fuels that emit higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions than ‘conventional petroleum sources.’ I worked to include language in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, recognizing that unconventional fuels such as oil shale and tar sands developed in the U.S. and Canada are strategically important and necessary to develop to reduce the growing dependence of the U.S. on foreign oil. Despite the potential enormity of the provision’s consequences, no public hearings, discourse, or examination occurred before its inclusion. The scope of fuels that could be prohibited is left wide-open to interpretation, including fuels such as Canadian oil sands, E85 ethanol, and coal- and natural gas-to-liquids fuel, which has powered B-52H bomber aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base. I’m particularly concerned that Section 526 could limit the diversity and supply of fuel for our nation’s Air Force and other military branches. Our military could be forced to obtain a greater percentage of petroleum from unstable regions of the world, endangering our ability to quickly and economically obtain much-needed fuel to conduct operations vital to the defense of our nation. At a time when our troops are involved in two large-scale foreign conflicts, our military must have the flexibility to secure and develop alternative sources of fuel.”


Ethanol Mandate

“This week I also urged the President and Congress to take swift and meaningful action to help mitigate the damaging impact of our nation’s irresponsible biofuels mandate. Several Senators on both sides of the aisle have now spoken out on the need to find ways to address this problem. The drastic increase in the biofuels mandates was yet another failure of last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Congress must have the courage to address this issue and address it now.”


Related Information:


Inhofe Demands ‘Dramatic’ Action to Address Food vs. Fuel Mandates



Link To The Gas PRICE Act

Link To Gas PRICE Fact Sheet

Top Ten Democrat Energy Bill Failures