Cole Votes to Secure America's Energy for Future Through Diversity and Conservation
Washington, D.C. – Today a House-Senate agreement on a comprehensive national energy policy was debated on the House floor. Congressman Cole voted for this bill that passed in the House, 246-180. The Energy Policy Act of 2003 will help reduce our growing dependence on unstable foreign oil supplies, create and retain jobs, improve our economy and creates incentives for energy exploration, while also promoting conservation, efficiency and necessary environmental regulations.
"There are not too many pieces of legislation that will benefit Americans more than the Energy Policy Act. Every day our lives are affected by energy; we use energy to power our computers and appliances and heat our homes," Congressman Tom Cole said. "Energy is crucial to every sector of the U.S. economy. I believe this piece of legislation will provide for energy needs now and the needs of future generations by focusing on efficiency, conservation, increased domestic exploration and renewable fuels."
"It is estimated that this energy bill will save many existing jobs and create nearly one million new jobs, which is very exciting news for an economy that is beginning to make a rebound," Congressman Tom Cole said.
"By aggressively researching and diversifying our energy supply we can become more energy independent. Almost 60% of U.S. oil is imported from unstable nations such as Algeria, Nigeria and Venezuela. This number will continue to rise unless we increase production of energy through technology and domestic exploration," Congressman Tom Cole said.
"The Energy Policy Act contains many provisions that will be especially important to Oklahoma. For example this legislation will streamline the tribal leasing process so that outside parties have more incentive to partner with tribes in developing energy resources," Congressman Cole said. "Although Native American land accounts for only 5 percent of the land area in the U.S., it contains thirty percent of identified coal deposits, 5 percent of the nation's oil and ten percent of our natural gas."
Additional provisions that will benefit Oklahomans:
- Provides accelerated depreciation for natural gas distribution lines.
- Provides Tax credits for renewable electricity generation such as wind.
- Provides for the Departments of Interior and Energy to identify obstacles and recommend changes to existing laws to increase on-shore oil and gas production.
- Establishes a clear-cut exemption for oil and gas production from the Federal Water Pollution Act’s requirements for storm water discharge permits.
- Provides a minimum exemption of 5 years for small refineries from the ethanol requirement. Small refineries may opt-in to the program if they wish.
- Establishes marginal well tax credits.
- Provides essential research and developing funding and tax incentives to develop and use of clean coal technology.
- Providers rate and tax incentives for the construction of electricity transmission lines.