House Republicans Unveil Energy Agenda

House Republicans unveiled their energy policy agenda Wednesday morning on the steps of the Capitol, hoping to put a spate of bad headlines behind them and seize the upper hand on a critical issue, as gas prices once again hit record highs.

The GOP plan was particularly focused on increasing domestic production, an idea Democrats have been cool to due to environmental concerns and a desire to focus on alternative energy sources rather than domestic drilling.

The Republican agenda also called for conservation tax credits, the increased use of nuclear power, an emphasis on coal to liquid technologies and for construction of new oil refineries.

On the production issue, Republicans called for increased drilling in the outer continental shelf, tapping into domestic oil share reserves and once again calling for drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, which has been a flashpoint in the energy debate going back to the early 1990s.

"It defies reality that China is drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba, but we cannot drill off of our own shores," said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The energy issue has been thrust into the political spotlight in recent months, as gas prices continue to skyrocket.

Oil prices hit another record on Wednesday, reaching $132 per barrel, while the national average for a gallon of gasoline also set a record, topping $3.80.
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