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TO URGE THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PROVIDE FOR A DOMESTIC ENERGY POLICY THAT WILL ENSURE AN ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF NATURAL GAS WHILE PROMOTING ECONOMIC AND NATIONAL SECURITY FOR THE BENEFIT OF FUTURE GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS.
Whereas, high and volatile prices for natural gas are negatively affecting South Carolina's businesses and manufacturers, contributing to industrial plant closings, higher unemployment and underemployment rates; and
Whereas, more than 60 million American consumers, including nearly 600,000 South Carolinians, have chosen to rely on natural gas, which is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, for safe, reliable heat and hot water; and
Whereas, wholesale natural gas prices have more than doubled over the last five years, creating an "energy tax" of more than $66 billion each year on America's natural gas consumers; and
Whereas, the natural gas imbalance is exacerbated by artificial restrictions in development and drilling and by governmental policies that increase demand for natural gas while impeding the development of a greater supply by discouraging domestic exploration and production; and
Whereas, national energy legislation is long overdue; and
Whereas, the most critical cornerstone of such legislation must be to encourage increased exploration and production efforts for domestic natural gas supplies; and
Whereas, utilizing sound environmental stewardship principles, new abundant natural gas frontiers can be developed to meet demand. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives urge the 109th United States Congress to enact legislation that will provide for a domestic energy policy that will ensure an adequate supply of natural gas, including developing the appropriate infrastructure, and that will embrace a concerted national effort to promote greater energy efficiency, producing a political consensus that will open promising new areas for environmentally responsible natural gas production by including measures such as are contained in the proposed federal State Enhanced Authority for Coastal and Offshore Resources Act (SEACOR) or similar legislation to (i) secure states' authority over coastal and offshore resources, (ii) provide an exemption to the moratorium that prevents until 2012 any surveying, exploration, development, or production of potential natural gas deposits in areas off the state's Atlantic shore that are under federal jurisdiction, and (iii) incorporate revenue sharing between the federal and state governments for leasing activity that potentially will provide South Carolina with significant additional sources of revenue.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation.
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