Rahall’s Energy Bill: Join the ‘Growing Clamor’

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) of the House Natural Resources Committee is holding a markup on his energy bill today, and surprise – it’s terrible. We’ll have a press statement out soon, but in the meantime, here’s a Dow Jones story on what the U.S. Chamber and API think of it:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tuesday joined the growing clamor against Rep. Nick Rahall’s, D-W.Va., energy bill which critics say would not only stunt future oil and gas production in the U.S., but also suppress a growing wind energy market.

The chamber, along with a raft of industry groups, is urging federal lawmakers to oppose the bill ahead of a markup in the House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday.

Environmental groups, however, say they are mostly delighted with the bill – especially the oil and gas provisions – and are near to brokering a legislative compromise with committee chairman Rahall’s office that would allow continued wind power growth while protecting wildlife.

In a letter to lawmakers, chamber vice president of government affairs Bruce Josten said Rahall’s Energy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007, “not only fails to produce a single kilowatt of energy, but also threatens to reduce, and in some sectors eradicate, energy production.”

“Any lawmaker serious about energy security or energy independence should have strong reservations about voting for H.R. 2337,” Josten wrote.

The American Petroleum Institute and the Independent Petroleum Association of America already have expressed opposition to the bill, and are lobbying hard to stop the titles that they say would inhibit growth in oil and gas production.

The chamber said the bill would “stunt the development of transmission infrastructure necessary to unclog congested energy corridors … further restrict access to valuable domestic oil and gas supplies … (and) effectively shut down all wind energy production in the United States.” The group represents more than three million businesses and organizations across the country.