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Friday, July 11, 2008

Drilling in US picking up steam

From the Hill:

The House is going to have its own “gang” of Republicans and Democrats who want to push for more drilling to relieve gas prices. ...The Democrats in the group, led by Rep. Neal Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), will be bucking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who earlier Thursday called efforts to open up new areas to drilling “a hoax.”...Abercrombie announced late Thursday that he and Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.), one of the loudest voices for more drilling, will form a bipartisan working group to discuss energy issues....In an interview this week about his work with Peterson, Abercrombie said the Democratic message on energy is not working....“Simply standing up and saying, you can’t drill your way out of this doesn’t work,” Abercrombie said. “The people are standing up and saying, ‘Yes, we can.’”...There are to be 20 members of the working group – 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans. The members will be announced Tuesday. ...“In order for us to remain competitive and rescue ourselves from a second ‘great depression’, Washington needs to put the politics aside and address the crisis,” Peterson said in a statement announcing the working group....Peterson and Abercrombie are already co-sponsors of a bill that would remove restrictions on offshore natural gas drilling. The royalty money would go to the states, the federal treasury, and to renewable energy and environmental programs. The bill has 170 co-sponsors, and Abercrombie spokesman Dave Helfert said it would be part of the group’s effort.

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