House debates state energy polices

Rep. Whitfield says Washington isn't pro-energy.

By Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- The chairman of a House committee on energy said the federal government is out of step with policies embraced by states leading the nation's oil boom.

The House Energy and Power Subcommittee heard testimony on the impact state policies have on the nation's energy sector.


Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chairman of the committee, said states with pro-energy policies like North Dakota are leading the nation in terms of economic development.

"Washington should be learning from these state successes and applying the same pro-energy policies to federally-controlled lands and offshore areas," he said in this opening remarks Thursday. "But unfortunately we are not doing so."

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced plans last week for the sixth lease under a five-year program for the Gulf of Mexico. A record of decision from BOEM, meanwhile, established a framework for seismic surveys to get a better understanding of the reserve potential in the Atlantic Ocean.

In terms of renewable energy efforts, Steve Clemmer, director of energy research for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told House leaders states are leading the way, but they need federal guidance.


"Together with stronger federal policies, state renewable standards can help maintain the nation's momentum toward a clean and prosperous economy," he said.

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