Senator Stevens Offers Comprehensive Energy Amendment to Democratic Leadership’s Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) today offered his energy initiative as an amendment to the oil speculation bill which is being debated in the Senate this week.
“My energy initiative takes a comprehensive approach towards ending the energy crisis: produce more, use less, fund renewables, and protect from litigation” said Senator Stevens. “Oil prices are taking a toll on Americans and they are looking to Congress for action. This amendment would put our nation back on track to energy independence.”
Senator Stevens’ amendment includes the provisions he unveiled while he was in Alaska earlier this month. They include:
  • Increased domestic production
  • Conservation and energy efficiency
  • Development of renewable and alternative energy
  • Protection from lawsuits and market manipulation
Domestic Production
The Senator’s amendment would open ANWR and use all federal revenues from future production to develop alternative energy sources. AWNR development will be done in an environmentally sensitive manner, using state-of-the-art drilling technology.
OCS revenue sharing and provisions aiding the construction of the Alaska gas pipeline are also important parts of the Senator’s measure.
The overwhelming majority of America’s outer continental shelf is off of Alaska. The Senator’s plan sets federal revenue sharing levels at 37.5 percent for Alaska. This would account for billions in revenue to Alaska. The initiative would further streamline federal approval processes including; FERC administration, wetlands consultation, and other provisions relating to gas lines in Alaska.
Conservation and Energy Efficiency
The amendment contains Senator Stevens’ bipartisan telework legislation which would allow federal employees to work from home thereby reducing commutes and gasoline consumption. This program can serve as a model for further efforts in the private sector.
Development of Renewable and Alternative Energy
100 percent of federal revenues from ANWR production would go to develop renewable energies. At $125 a barrel, this would amount to at least $300 billion over the next 30 years. The amendment would also direct the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct an inventory of water power resources in Alaska and provide tax incentives for the building of nuclear power plants.
The Senator’s amendment also contains language that puts controls on oil market manipulation by granting the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission additional authorities to regulate futures trading and to restrict energy futures buying.
Finally, the amendment contains a provision that limits judicial review for energy projects with mandatory expedited review for energy cases. Litigants would have to bring cases which involve challenges to any legislative initiatives within 90 days.