The new energy bill increases heating assistance and boosts
spending on renewable energy. But Vermont environmentalists say
they’re disappointed, because it also authorizes oil drilling off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Congressman Peter Welch says he supports efforts to
release oil from the nation’s strategic reserve as a short term way to help
reduce gas prices.
In the long term, Welch says the country must make
significant investments in renewable power sources as part of an overall energy
Vermont Congressman Peter Welch talks about
a number of issues, including efforts to combat high fuel prices. We’ll
discuss proposed funding increases for the fuel assistance program and Welch’s
opposition to expanded offshore drilling.
The program that
helps low-income Vermonters pay for heat is at least $19 million short
this year, and middle income Vermonters are also struggling to plan for
winter. We’ll look at whether federal and state government can ease the
concern about heating costs.
Governor Jim Douglas says the rising cost of energy is the
biggest economic issue facing Vermont.
He thinks Congress should consider imposing a windfall profits tax on the
nation’s major oil companies.
Douglas says he’s disappointed that
Senate Republican leaders blocked a vote
on and energy bill that included the tax.
Bob Kinzel reports.