Less than a month after President Bush signed the sprawling $12.3 billion Energy
Bill into law, House Republicans are already discussing a second energy bill to
curb rising fuel costs and expand U.S. oil refineries.
According to Congressional Quarterly,
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-TX, and House
Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-IL, are suggesting additional legislation that
would aid in the construction of more refineries, which in turn would hopefully
lower retail fuel and gas prices.
The move comes a little more than a week after Hurricane Katrina
lambasted the Gulf States, causing the closure of eight refineries and a number
of oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We may be looking at doing another energy bill of some sort,” DeLay told Reuters after a meeting with fellow Republicans to discuss the issue.
Although the signed 1,724-page Energy Bill did provide some incentives
for energy conservation and the use of alternative energy sources, critics said
it did little to increase domestic fuel production or limit demand for foreign
“Unfortunately, House Republicans working on the final version of the
bill rejected the provisions that would have led us towards energy
independence, and I will not support this version of the bill,” House Minority
Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, told The AP during debate on the original bill. “I believe we have missed an incredible
opportunity to establish a renewable electricity standard, provide help to
consumers facing record prices at the gas pump, and most importantly, to reduce
our dependence on foreign oil.”
No new oil refineries have been built in the United States since the
early 1980s, The Associated Press reported.