Politics

Oil Prices Controlled by Companies and Cartels-Not Market

There is no free market in oil and gas. The OPEC cartel and the growing concentration of power in the oil industry have strangled competition. Mergers have turned 34 major oil companies into 13, and fifteen refining companies into seven. The lack of real competition means that companies can more easily manipulate supply and price. Not surprisingly, this is reflected in the record profits at oil companies like Exxon Mobil. The government needs to go after those who are truly responsible: the hugely profitable oil companies, the OPEC cartel, and speculators. We should impose a windfall profits tax, pass legislation to make gouging of consumers a crime, subject all oil trading to the same regulation as other commodities, and force the administration to break up the OPEC cartel. We need long-term solution as well. I support H.R. 4409, a bipartisan bill that would require a reduction in consumption and focus on conservation and alternative fuels. 

 
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Deploy The Guard To Secure Our Borders

I’m extremely pleased that my colleagues recognize the importance of allowing the National Guard to assist in securing America’s borders. With the passage of my amendment we are a step closer to the secure borders the American people are demanding.

The Border Patrol is doing a great job under overwhelming circumstances, and they deserve all the support we can give them. With the National Guard in a supporting role, our border security efforts will be much more efficient and we will be able to reduce the amount of crime on the borders, most of which affects the immigrants themselves.

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Mythic Arms Race Will Not Solve Iranian Nuclear Issue

The Administration's plan for a National Missile Defense in Europe is nothing more than deploying an expensive myth in the absence of true international cooperation.


National Missile Defense (NMD) has a well documented record of failure. Despite over twenty years worth of research and development, and hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money wasted, no NMD system has successfully completed a live-fire test.


The only people who benefit from this taxpayer funded boondoggle are the defense contractors who continue to line their pockets with taxpayer funds without producing a successful live-fire test.


Missile defense has failed in America, and it will fail in Europe.


Only international diplomacy, in which the United States participates, will resolve our stand off with Iran. A new arms race in Europe will not deter Iran from pursuing nuclear technologies, and is just the latest example of this Administration's failed foreign policy that makes our country less, not more, secure.


 




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Focus on Oil Makes Us More Vulnerable

The "Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act" will do nothing to affect gas prices or reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The implication that efforts to expand our national refinery capacity have been prevented or impeded by the environmental permitting process is just plain wrong. Even the CEOs of Shell and Conoco have stated that environmental regulations are not impeding their refinery building decisions. By focusing exclusively on oil drilling options as a cure-all for our nation's energy challenges, the Republican Leadership is neglecting it's duty to work on forward-looking policy ideas for improving CAFE standards and moving to cleaner, renewable fuels. Oil is not the answer.

(The Shell and Conoco CEO statements were at a Nov. 2005 joint hearing before the Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources, and Commerce, Science and Transportation.)

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More Refineries Will Equal Less Vulnerability

The lack of refinery capacity is one of the major effects on high gas prices, as was evident after Hurricane Katrina. Allowing a federal coordinator to set timelines for federal agencies involved in the permitting process would help eliminate some of the time-consuming delays. The refinery permitting bill could also help locate a biofuels or coal-to-liquid refinery.

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Solution to Supply Issues Can Be Found in ANWR

There is no logical reason to oppose safe energy exploration and production on ANWR's northern coastal plain. It is not a silver bullet solution to America's energy problems, but it represents one of the biggest pieces to the simple supply and demand equation that seems to have puzzled Washington liberals for more than a decade. The fact of the matter is America needs more American-made energy. My bill will deliver that and more.

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Eliminating Identity Theft to Protect Commerce

Given the alarming rate of data breaches and the resulting identify theft epidemic, consumers are understandably questioning the security of using the Internet for commercial transactions. The Data Accountability and Trust Act will help ensure that personal data are accounted for, secured, and actively protected against breaches by empowering consumers and businesses to promote the notion that security sells.

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Coal Energy Equals Independence

Our nation has the largest reserves of coal in the world - nearly 250 billion tons of recoverable coal. By using an existing technology called the Fischer-Tropsch process, coal can be converted cleanly into liquid fuel.

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Intelligence Failures Have Created Distrust Among Citizens

For years, the Bush administration has not kept the Senate Intelligence committee fully and currently informed of all appropriate intelligence activities. Until recently, for example, for some time now only two Democratic senators were allowed by the Bush administration to be briefed on all these matters that are all over our newspapers.

These failures in my view have put the American people in a difficult spot. Because the committee hasn't been kept informed, because of these revelations in the newspapers, now we have many of our citizens -- law-abiding, patriotic Americans who want to strike the balance between fighting terrorism and protecting liberty, now they're questioning their government's word. (from the open hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence-May 18)

 

 
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Iraqi Government Has Surprised Cut and Run Caucus

The Iraqi people continue to demonstrate their commitment to democracy, and continue to exceed the dire predictions of the naysayers and armchair generals in Washington D.C.

We have witnessed the fall of a brutal dictator, followed by successful elections, the creation of a new constitution, and now the formation of an Iraqi cabinet to run a democratically elected government. This progress was unthinkable only three years ago, and must be unimaginable to the Congressional Cut-and-Run Caucus.

The people of Iraq should be congratulated, not dismissed as unable to enjoy the benefits of democracy and freedom.  

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