President Bush will head over the Department of Energy today to sign the just-passed energy bill. The House passed the bill by 314-100 yesterday, mostly Republicans among the nos.
The National Association of Manufacturers sent a letter to the Hill yesterday prior to the House vote. It pretty much tells our point of view:
[We] are pleased that the latest version of the energy bill includes energy efficiency initiatives and provisions to diversify our energy supply through renewable energy sources that have the potential to lower energy costs for manufacturers over the longterm. We were also pleased with the decision to remove the RPS mandate and tax increases on energy producers and manufacturers from the package.
While the current energy bill may have an impact on energy prices years from now, we continue to believe that immediate steps must be taken to expand our domestic energy supply. American manufacturers and their employees already face a 31.7 percent cost disadvantage when compared to our major trading partners, and energy costs play a major role in this disadvantage. Access to competitively-priced domestic energy would help U.S. companies compete in the global economy and preserves high-paying jobs here at home.
We remain supportive of policies that would expand domestic energy supplies both in the short-term and long-term. As a result, we support proposals that diversify and enhance U.S. energy supply through increased production of all types of energy, improved conservation and efficiency, more research on technology and alternative energy, increased access to
domestic sources with continued environmental protections, and improved distribution.
Congratulations to the members who hung tough against the taxes and mandates that would have made energy even more expensive, damaging U.S. competitiveness. Kudos, as well, to Chairman Dingell and Representatives Baron Hill (D-IN) and Lee Terry (R-NE) for bringing a measure of reason to the debate over CAFE standards.
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