Vote Against the Motion to Instruct, and Pass the H.R. 6 Conference Report
October 14, 2003
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
Later this week, the House is expected to consider a Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2003, by Representative Capps, that attempts to prevent inclusion of provisions in the bill authorizing an inventory of natural resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region, urges you to oppose the Capps Motion to Instruct and any other measures that endeavor to limit the ability of the United States to adequately assess domestic energy resources.
The National Petroleum Council's (NPC) recent natural gas report suggests that by 2025, domestic natural gas production will only be able to meet 75 percent of demand. The report further suggests that by promoting access to some portions of the OCS, as well as easing restrictions in the Rocky Mountains, that natural gas prices would decline significantly, saving consumers as much as $300 billion over the next two decades.
Moreover, the Energy Information Agency projects that by 2025, the United States will need 47 percent more oil and 54 percent more natural gas. Despite significant improvements in conservation and efficiency, a tightening of supply and demand has resulted in high natural gas prices. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan recently termed the natural gas supply crunch, "a very serious problem." An assessment of domestically available oil and gas resources will provide greater confidence in future energy supplies and help ease the economic burden to manufacturers, farmers, homeowners, and other consumers caused by today's gas prices.
The oil and gas reserves in the OCS are vital to safeguarding America's energy supply. This inventory is necessary to understand what domestic natural resources our nation maintains and where they are located. Instead of taking valuable floor time in the waning days of this legislative session to address a perfunctory non-binding measure, the Chamber encourages the House to vote against the Motion to Instruct, and pass the H.R. 6 conference report as soon as it is reported.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce