Snowe Calls on Next Congress to Achieve Energy Independence

October 24, 2008

Washington, D.C. -

U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) today made the following statement in reaction to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) announcement to cut its oil production by at least 1.5 million barrels a day. The announcement follows a sharp decline in oil prices to 63 dollars a barrel, the lowest since May 2007.

"Today’s announcement by OPEC to cut production by 1.5 million barrels is a striking reminder that our country’s energy security lies in the hands of nations that will stop at nothing to practice monopolistic oil pricing and attempt to undermine our economy. It is imperative we maintain momentum and enact a comprehensive and bipartisan energy strategy within the first 100 days of the 111th Congress to achieve energy independence and end our reliance on foreign oil. Raising auto fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon for the first time in 30 years is but one step that Congress took toward achieving energy self-sufficiency. Yet, there is much more to be accomplished. For that reason, I am calling for the next Administration to work with Congressional leadership to make the very first legislative bill introduced in the 111th Congress a bipartisan energy package that boosts development of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Years of American innovation have been wasted because Congress and the Administration have failed to craft policies that inspire and encourage a nation of entrepreneurs on an issue central to our country’s future. We face many challenges as a nation, but securing our long-term energy independence must continue to be at the top of the list."