Senator McConnell Introduces Energy Legislation to Address the High Price of Gas

We must expand our domestic energy production and limit the hold Middle Eastern nations have on our economy

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008 on Thursday to address the high price of gas at the pump and provide a balanced approach to America’s long-term energy needs. The legislation, which has a total of 43 cosponsors, is a result of efforts by Senate Republicans to intensify the legislative debate and provide a vehicle for bipartisan action addressing high gas prices.

“The Gas Price Reduction Act uses a three-pronged approach -- conservation, innovation for newer technologies, and expanded exploration of our domestic resources -- to solve America’s energy crisis,” McConnell said. “This legislation also would create thousands of jobs and help get prices down at the gas pump. We must expand our domestic energy production and limit the hold Middle Eastern nations have on our economy.

“The United States is the third-largest producer of oil in the world after the Saudis and the Russians. While we must work now to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, if we truly want to achieve energy independence, America must be allowed to take advantage of the vast energy resources we have right here at home.”

THE GAS PRICE REDUCTION ACT OF 2008

TITLE I – DEEP SEA EXPLORATION (OCS)

14 billion barrels on Atlantic and Pacific OCS – More than all US imports from Persian Gulf countries over the last 15 years

• State Option Nationwide (except Gulf of Mexico)

• Governor petitions to allow exploration, with concurrence of state legislature

• Exploration must be at least 50 miles from coast

• 50% of revenues to Federal Treasury, 37.5% to States, 12.5% to Land & Water Conservation Fund

TITLE II: WESTERN STATE OIL SHALE EXPLORATION

More than 3 times the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia

• 800 billion - 2 trillion potentially recoverable barrels in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming

• Democrat Congress put moratorium on final regulations for development of this resource

• Republican proposal would repeal the moratorium and allow exploration to move forward

TITLE III: PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS AND TRUCKS

• We need better batteries to maximize electricity range & use less gas

• Increased R&D for advanced batteries

• Direct Loans for advanced battery manufacturing facilities

• Sense of Senate that the Federal Government should increase its purchases of these vehicles

TITLE IV: STRENGTHENING U.S. FUTURES MARKETS

• Authorizes increased funding/staff for Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

• Directs the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets to study the international regulation of commodities markets

• Codifies CFTC action on position limits and transparency for foreign boards of trade

• Requires the CFTC to gather information on index traders and swap dealers