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Enzi unveils energy solution steps

Bill taps technology over taxes, production over politics

September 18, 2008

Washington, D.C. – With Americans facing high gas prices now and high heating costs on the horizon, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a bill today that would turn around the nation’s energy policy for families and businesses feeling the crunch of energy costs.

“Finding more and using less is the basic tenet of my eight step plan. We need to pass energy legislation now, not after November. Drilling and conservation can go hand in hand and my bill increases both,” said Enzi. “You can’t talk about serious energy reform and progress without talking about Wyoming’s coal, natural gas, wind, coal bed methane gas, oil and uranium. My bill incorporates Wyoming’s resources - we are the energy state.”

The Eight Steps for Energy Sufficiency are:

  1. Use Less Energy
    • Promote energy efficiency education so Americans know what simple actions save energy.
    • Increase Research and Development for advanced batteries - plug in hybrids will help reduce gas consumption.
  2. Find More American Energy
    • Open up the Outer Continental Shelf to responsible energy production.
    • End the ban on the development of oil shale technology that could produce as much as 2 trillion barrels of American oil.
  3. Speed the Process
    • Streamline the refinery permitting process - the United States has not built a new refinery in over 30 years.
    • Review the National Environmental Policy Act and find a way to limit the endless filing of lawsuits to stall energy development. 
  4. Innovate
    • Provide federal assistance in the development of hydrogen technologies.
    • Research and Development of advanced ethanol technology that is not corn-based.
  5. Incentives
    • Extend the production tax credit for wind and solar energy for 5 years so developers can perform long-term planning.
    • Repeal of State Mineral Royalty Theft to incentivize states to allow for production on their lands.
  6. Clean Coal Technologies
    • Research and Development funding to help develop and deploy carbon capture and sequestration technologies.
    • Promote loan guarantees for coal-to-diesel production.
    • Provide long-term contracting authority for the U.S. Armed Forces to purchase jet fuel from coal.
  7. Nuclear
    • Provide tax incentives to help build new nuclear reactors.
    • Solve the spent nuclear waste problem.
  8. ANWR
    • Open up less than 1 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy production. Doing so would produce approximately 1 million barrels of oil per day.

“Bills that are smaller and more specific are much easier to pass than huge pieces of comprehensive legislation because those big bills can often gain opposition very quickly, and before you know it they won’t pass. Comprehensive energy packages have failed because nearly every senator objects to some aspect of it, and there is not enough support to pass the bill. By breaking down my bill into sections, we have eight sensible solutions for Congress to consider, and if enacted, any one of them would help to ease the pain at the pump,” said Enzi.

The Role of Coal

Step six of Enzi’s bill focuses entirely on the leading role coal can play in the answer to the nation’s energy problems.

“We need to have some genuine research into alternative uses for coal. This bill acknowledges Wyoming as the nation’s leader in coal production and a leader that can move the country toward energy sufficiency,” said Enzi. “Alternative fuels are the answer for long-term energy sufficiency but that transition will not happen overnight. Wyoming’s coal can take us through the transition and release America from the grip of foreign oil.”   

The bill would increase funding for coal research and development to help progress and deploy carbon capture and sequestration technologies, promote loan guarantees for coal-to-diesel production, and provide long term contracting authority for the U.S. Armed Forces to purchase jet fuel from coal.