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Task Force for Affordable Natural Gas Presents Report to the Speaker

September 30, 2003
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Cole reiterated the need for increased reliance on domestic energy to decrease price volatility and ensure affordable heat and natural gas prices now and in the future. Meeting the deadline set by the Speaker, Congressman Cole along with other members of the Task Force for Affordable Natural Gas presented a report to Speaker Dennis Hastert (IL-14) outlining their analysis of the causes of the natural gas shortage, the impact of high gas prices on the economy and short- and long-term ways to encourage a constant supply of natural gas to stabilize prices.

"The interim report to the Speaker today, outlines the history of the natural gas problem, what our country is facing now due to high natural gas prices and what can be done to curb a crisis in the future," Congressman Cole said. "The proposed solutions will be reflected in some capacity in the energy bill, but many of our suggestions do not require legislation to be utilized."

Potential solutions to the natural gas crisis include:  providing for inventory of natural gas on Federal lands, creating a Federal office to facilitate and coordinate the permitting and environmental reviews of natural gas prices, streamlining permitting of natural gas production and transportation projects and ensuring timely decisions on lease applications for natural gas production on Federal lands. Other solutions can be viewed in the final report.

"Through the site-visits and hearings we have witnessed how natural gas prices have adversely affected our economy. Congress must pass a sound, comprehensive energy policy and begin relying on domestic energy instead of foreign producers in order to secure a stable energy environment now and for future generations," Congressman Cole said.

"Congressman Cole was an invaluable asset for the Task Force," Chairman Pombo said.  "In August, Mr. Cole hosted a meeting of the Task Force in Oklahoma City that gave members great insight into the supply side of the natural gas equation.  On behalf of the Speaker and Chairman Tauzin, I applaud Representative Cole for his hard work in finding potential solutions to this natural gas shortage."

"This interim report is not the final say so, we will continue to work together as a task force and in Congress to find ways to encourage domestic production and promote sound energy policies and practices," Congressman Tom Cole said.

A copy of the findings of the Task Force for Affordable Natural Gas can be viewed at: