Burr Supports Senate Passage of Bipartisan, Comprehensive Energy Conference Report

Legislation improves reliability, conserves energy, keeps coastal drilling moratorium intact

Senator Richard Burr today voted in support of H.R. 6, the bipartisan, comprehensive energy conference report which conserves energy usage, improves reliability and keeps the current Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Presidential moratorium on drilling intact. The legislation was approved by a bipartisan margin of 74-26.

"This legislation represents a comprehensive, balanced plan to reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil while increasing our commitment to renewable energy and conservation efforts," said Senator Burr. "North Carolina will benefit from provisions to modernize our electricity grid and create jobs while ensuring a more stable and environment friendly energy supply."

"While I am pleased the Presidential moratorium on drilling off North Carolina's coasts will remain intact," he added, "I know we need to remain vigilant on this important issue."

Senator Burr, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, championed many of the provisions in the legislation important to North Carolina. These provisions include:

• The Presidential moratorium on drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf remains intact.

• Keeping North Carolina's electric rates low, while protecting ratepayers throughout the nation, the bill includes provisions to modernize and expand America's electricity grid. (The language was adopted from bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Burr on March 2, 2005, his first piece of legislation as a Senator.)

• Opening new opportunities for energy production using innovative and useful methods of waste disposal, the bill includes incentives for energy generated from animal waste. This will increase farm income for North Carolina hog and poultry farmers.

• Corn, sweet potato and tobacco farmers will benefit from the ethanol provisions in this bill through increased incentives for ethanol and biodiesel production. This will help reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil and improve our environment while helping North Carolina farmers. Soybean farmers will benefit from incentives encouraging the production of biodiesel fuels from soybean oil. According to the National Farm Bureau, this will create 234,840 new jobs nationwide.

• Long-term access to electric transmission for over seventy-two small cities and towns in North Carolina which provide electricity to their residents.

As a Member of the House of Representatives, Burr sponsored two pieces of legislation strengthening electric transmission. H.R. 2814, introduced in the 107th Congress, sought to increased incentives for investing in the energy transmission grid. H.R. 1370, introduced in the 108th Congress, also sought to increase incentives for investing in the electric transmission grid, as well as energy reliability standards. Both pieces of legislation became part of larger, comprehensive energy legislation that was passed by the House. As a Senator, Burr built on the success of these bills and introduced the bipartisan Interstate Transmission Act of 2005, portions of which were incorporated in the legislation approved today.

Praising Senator Burr's efforts on the energy conference report, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) said, "Senator Burr's contribution to the passage of this energy bill has been remarkable. Without him, we may not have gotten agreements on several important electricity provisions. I consider electricity to be cornerstone of this bill. Richard Burr helped ensure that the changes we are making to electricity law will protect consumers and ensure an abundant supply of reliable and affordable power. I thank him for his efforts."

For more information, please go to https://www.burr.senate.gov.