Thursday, July 24, 2008

response 2

Here is another response I got back from my Congresswoman, re: a letter I sent a few weeks back concerning gas prices:

"Dear Scott:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the rising cost of gasoline. I appreciate your concern and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Like you, I am concerned about the recent gasoline price increases in the U.S. There are no easy fixes to rising gasoline prices, but we are moving in the right direction to address the problem. I have voted to repeal unnecessary tax breaks for large oil companies that are reaping record profits at a time when Nevadans are paying higher prices at the pump and businesses are absorbing or passing on additional costs. The savings from repealing the tax breaks would be used in the development of alternative fuels and energy sources in order to lower prices in the long term.

Last year, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act. This legislation is an important step that moves the United States toward greater energy independence and security by increasing the production of clean renewable fuels and increasing the efficiency of our products, buildings, and vehicles.

In May, Congress overwhelmingly passed, and I voted for, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act, H.R. 6022. This bipartisan legislation will temporarily suspend oil purchases for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is currently 97 percent full and continuing to fill it would divert 70,000 barrels of crude oil that could be used for consumer purposes and reduce prices at the pump. The House passed H.R. 6022 on May 13, 2008, by a margin of 385-25. On May 14, 2008, the Senate passed this legislation by unanimous consent and on May 19, 2008, H.R. 6022 was signed into law by the President.

On June 26, 2008, I voted for, and the House passed, the Energy Markets Emergency Act, H.R. 6377, by a margin of 402-19. The Energy Markets Emergency Act would direct the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to curb excessive speculation, price distortion, and other activity that is causing major market disturbances.

The Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands (DRILL) Act, H.R. 6515, would seek to increase the domestic supply of oil as a way to increase supply and ease high prices. On July 17, 2008, I voted for H.R. 6515, but, the House failed to pass this resolution by a margin of 244-173 -- a two-thirds majority was required for passage.

I also support the Gas Price Relief for Consumers Act, H.R. 6047. This bill would crack down on Middle Eastern oil profiteers by making it illegal for any foreign state to limit the distribution of its oil in order to intentionally hurt United States consumers. On May 20, 2008, I voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 6074, by a margin of 324-84. The Senate has yet to consider this legislation.

I also support the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act, H.R. 6049, which would increase the production of renewable fuels and renewable electricity, and encourage greater energy efficiency. This bill would extend and expand tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel from America's heartland, as well as for plug-in hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances. On May 21, 2008, I voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 6049 by a margin of 263-160. The Senate has yet to consider this legislation.

There is no immediate short-term solution to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. However, our country must work hard toward a long-term goal of becoming energy independent by harnessing renewable energy sources available here in the United States, and increasing fuel efficiency in our vehicles and homes. I will continue to monitor legislation concerning gas prices. Should further bills regarding gas prices reach the House floor for a vote, I will keep your views in mind.

Once again, thank you for sharing your concerns with me. If I may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office or visit my website at


Member of Congress

Now the question is have any of YOU written your Congressperson or Senator? Please do, because remember, "THEY work for us".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I recently wrote my Senator about the rising gas prices and the speculators, and asked if there was anything he could try and do, well, he responded with a nice long email, kinda cool, here it is:
"Dear Mr. Penton:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the impact of speculators on the price of oil. I value the opinions of every Nevadan and am always grateful to those who take the time to inform me of their views.

As a Nevadan, I share your frustration regarding the considerable rise in oil prices and agree that the United States must become less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. As you are well aware, we live in a global marketplace and the trading of oil occurs not only in New York or Chicago but also in places like Paris, London, Tokyo, and Dubai. I believe that Congress must address the issue of oil speculation carefully and ensure that we are not simply driving our financial services industry overseas, which would do nothing to lower gas prices.

The solution to lowering the price of oil in the United States must include increasing our domestic supply while developing alternative fuel sources such as geothermal, solar, wind, and nuclear. If tomorrow the U.S. Congress passed legislation allowing for energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR); invested in oil shale and oil sands that are prevalent in the western states; allowed for the deep-sea exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS); and extended tax incentives for renewable energy, the price of oil would fall over night. To that end, I have cosponsored the Gas Price Reduction Act to create more supplies of American energy.

On April 10, 2008, the U.S. Senate successfully passed my amendment, the Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act, which extends incentives to encourage renewable energy. This legislation encourages electricity production using renewable energy resources such as geothermal, wind, and hydropower facilities. However, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives refused to support these common-sense provisions for promoting clean energy. In addition to bringing these alternative sources online, it is equally important that we dramatically increase domestic petroleum production and refining capacity. Our domestic production should include oil development on federal lands where I believe that there are areas suitable for further exploration which can be done in an environmentally sound way. In fact, estimates indicate that if President Clinton had not vetoed the drilling of the ANWR in 1995 an additional one million barrels of domestically produced oil would be available for the market today. Also, in addition to increasing crude oil production, we need to refine the oil into a consumer product such as heating oil or gasoline.

The United States is blessed with vast oil reserves that remain untapped. The Department of the Interior released a comprehensive inventory of the OCS resources in February 2006. That report estimated that there are 8.5 billion barrels of oil ready for extraction with another 86 billion barrels of oil classified as undiscovered resources. This area also contains nearly 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, an important fuel source for cars and trucks. Oil shale and oil sands are prevalent in the western states of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The resource potential of oil shale reserves is estimated to be the equivalent of 1.8 trillion barrels of oil. As a comparison, reserves in Saudi Arabia are only 200 billion barrels of oil.

Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Congress has placed a moratorium on exploring ANWR, OCS, and oil shale resources forcing us to import more foreign oil instead of producing it ourselves. While I fully recognize the importance of preserving America's natural beauty for future generations, I believe that we can open these areas in an environmentally sensitive manner. This would help diversify our sources of crude oil, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and improve national security.

Again, thank you for your comments on this matter. I appreciate those who take the time to make their voices heard. I will be sure to keep your views in mind should this matter come before the Senate. Once again, thank you for contacting me on this very important issue. Should you have any other questions or comments or would like to sign up for our weekly newsletter, please do not hesitate to either write or e-mail me via my website at



United States Senator"