GOP lawmakers, RNC to huddle on energy policy for convention platform

A group of GOP lawmakers will meet with Republican National Committee (RNC) officials later Monday to discuss how energy policy will be addressed at the party’s upcoming national convention.

Lawmakers and energy industry representatives are invited to the "listening session" to discuss ideas about what to include in the party's platform, according to the RNC.

“This is actually just working on overall energy issues that could be included in a platform,” said Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), who noted it would be a “small group discussion.”

ADVERTISEMENT
“We will see if there is going to be an energy theme in the convention,” he said Monday, noting, “we are looking at doing some energy discussion at the convention.”

The Republican National Convention is taking place in Tampa, Florida in late August. Monday's meeting is one of a series of "issue briefings" ahead of platform meetings in Tampa next month, according to the RNC.

Terry did not name other lawmakers taking part, but said it would be members who have played a leading role on energy matters.

Presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and other Republicans have already been making energy issues a campaign trail staple.

They allege President Obama is keeping too many areas off-limits to drilling and imposing what critics call burdensome regulations on oil-and-gas producers and power companies.

Terry, a member of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, has been a top House advocate for approval of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, and didn’t rule out the possibility of speaking at the convention on the matter.

He spoke with reporters Monday about his new legislation that would authorize TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline, and said Keystone will be part of the meeting with the RNC.

“We will discuss just overall energy policy, not specifically this bill, but Keystone will be part of the discussions,” Terry said of the meeting with the RNC.

Terry’s new bill would remove the need for a federal cross-border permit for the pipeline, but would enable ongoing work to find a route through Nebraska to continue.

The White House, in contrast, argues the overall project needs more review, and the Obama administration does not plan to make a decision about Keystone until 2013.

This post was updated at 3:29 p.m.