A MESSAGE FROM CONGRESSMAN CUELLAR ON RISING ENERGY COSTS
Americans feel the effects of rising oil prices from the gas pump to the kitchen table. The price of oil reached a record $146 a barrel on July 11th, and it is imperative that Congress works on behalf of American families and business to lower energy costs and increase energy independence with a thorough and inclusive plan.
I support a comprehensive energy strategy founded on three components:
On May 14, 2008, I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote of 385-25 to support H.R. 6022, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act. This bill is signed into law and will temporarily suspend the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) until the end of the year, which is a critical first step toward reducing the price of gasoline at the pump.
I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 6670, the LEASE Act of 2008, which would allow exploration of off-shore drilling by lifting the federal ban on leasing beyond 100 miles of the coastline. I am also a co-sponsor of H.R. 6709, the National Conservation, Environment and Energy Independence Act, which would repeal both the 125-mile federal ban on off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the prohibitions on the development of oil shale.
While I support domestic drilling, there are 68 million acres of federal land currently leased to oil companies that need to be explored more aggressively. With a three-part strategy that includes conservation, alternative fuels and use of our own domestic resources, we can increase energy independence. I share the energy concerns of so many constituents, and as part of a comprehensive energy plan, I support domestic drilling to alleviate oil prices.