Wicker: Senate Shouldn’t Adjourn in August Until Acting on Comprehensive Energy Legislation

Senator Asks Senate Leaders to Keep Senate in Session Until Passing Legislation that Responds to Record-High Gas Prices

July 16, 2008

WASHINGTON – In a letter sent today to Senate leaders, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said senators should not leave Washington to begin the annual August work period in their states without first passing bipartisan legislation that addresses America’s energy crunch and record-high gas prices.

In a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Wicker said he believed there is bipartisan consensus to move forward on energy legislation. 

“The time to act is now,” Wicker wrote.  “Therefore, I request that the U.S. Senate not adjourn for the August district work period until we pass legislation that will make a true difference for the American people.” 

Wicker said that a long-term solution needs to contain incentives for renewable and alternative energy, as well as measures to increase conservation.  However, he stressed that increasing our domestic energy supply was a critical component to a comprehensive solution. 

“Our country is transitioning into an economy that is less reliant on fossil fuels, but that will not happen overnight,” Wicker wrote.  “As this transition occurs, we must act now to increase domestic energy production in order to lower energy costs for consumers and ensure our economy remains competitive in the years ahead.” 

Wicker is a cosponsor of the Gas Price Reduction Act (S. 3202), legislation that allows for deep sea exploration of the estimated 14 billion barrels of oil off our Atlantic and Pacific coasts.  The bill would also lift the moratorium on oil shale development in the Rocky Mountain West, where there is an estimated two trillion barrels of recoverable oil in only three states.  Additionally, the measure would increase investment in electric car technology to help lessen our country’s reliance on fossil fuels.   

Wicker has also pushed for action on the American Energy Production Act (S. 2958), legislation that would produce up to 24 billion barrels of oil – enough to supply America without foreign imports for five years.  The measure would utilize America’s deep sea energy resources while also allowing for exploration in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.  The legislation would also make billions more barrels of American-made fuel available through the development of coal-to-liquid technology and oil shale. 

The letter to Senators Reid and McConnell is attached on the right-hand side of this page.