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I strongly urge the 102d Congress to pass the national energy strategy before it adjourns. For the last 18 months, my administration has worked diligently with the Congress to produce the most comprehensive national energy strategy in 20 years. This bipartisan legislation was crafted not in a time of crisis but in a time when our long-term energy needs could be addressed with balance and reason.
The conference report to the national energy strategy will soon come before the Congress. This bill is good news for Americans. The legislation will increase conservation efforts, promote domestic renewable resources and alternative fuels, increase competition in the electric utility industry and reduce consumer costs, and remove regulatory barriers to increased use of clean-burning natural gas. The bill also provides much-needed alternative minimum tax (AMT) relief for independent oil and gas producers, thus removing a substantial disincentive to domestic oil and gas production.
Congress has demonstrated overwhelming support for the national energy strategy. The Senate passed this legislation on July 30 by a vote of 93 - 3, and the House passed it on May 27 by a vote of 381 - 37. This legislation should not fall victim to the end-of-year rush to adjourn. The Congress should not adjourn without passing this legislation.