March 07, 2011

Crapo Seeks to Rein in Energy Prices

Co-sponsors bills to increase domestic energy production, stop tax hikes

Washington, D.C.  - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has co-sponsored two bills that seek to put the brakes on gas price hikes by increasing domestic oil production in Alaska and offshore, and by stopping anticipated tax increases related to increased federal regulations.

The No Cost Stimulus Act expands U.S. oil production and seeks to lower prices by easing permitting prices for production on government properties, off-shore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).  "Opening ANWR to responsible oil production could increase our domestic production and bring in more than $200 billion in new royalties and tax revenues," Crapo said.  "At the same time, we would create 730-thousand jobs."

Crapo has also joined his colleague on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), and fellow Idahoan Jim Risch to introduce the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.  That measure is sponsored by a bipartisan group of more than 40 Senators and would stop plans by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move ahead with cap and tax regulations not approved by the Congress.  Crapo, Inhofe and others say the EPA's end-around Congress efforts could increase energy taxes at a time when gasoline prices may be headed for $4.00 a gallon.

"This act presents an opportunity for Congress to reassert its Constitutional responsibility to address the environmental and energy concerns of the 21 st Century," Crapo said.  "The Environmental Protection Agency's top-down, regulatory approach is not the answer.  The best way to convey that message is to ensure that this legislation makes its way to the President's desk.  If the President is truly committed to identifying and overturning burdensome, unnecessary regulations, this is where he should start."

Crapo called the EPA's efforts, already rejected in Congress, nothing more than a ramping up of regulations and taxes that will only serve to sharply increase gasoline prices and cut jobs in the energy industry.  The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 has also been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it also has bipartisan support.