FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Justin Groenert
August 16, 2006 (270) 769-2760

Lewis Addresses False Charges on Energy Policy Record
“Grade school political stunt” distorts record, avoids serious debate

Congressman Ron Lewis issued the following statement today responding to Mike Weaver’s false charges concerning his voting record on energy policy:

“Mike Weaver has resorted to pure grade school politics this afternoon in an effort to distort my record on this critically important issue. I’d encourage Mr. Weaver to present some serious solutions of his own rather than buying votes with publicity stunts.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Weaver has neglected to look at the facts, including my support of recent legislation that would prohibit price gouging, expedite construction of refineries and authorize exploration in ANWR. These are all measures fiercely opposed by the liberal obstructionists in Congress who are providing him with his campaign talking points.

“I would remind Mr. Weaver who was President in 1994 when gas prices were $1.20/gallon and the lack of leadership that man demonstrated by his habitual vetoes of ANWR exploration. Democrats have a 30 year record of saying “no” to U.S. energy production. While the demand for fuel never stopped rising, no new refineries have been built in the United States in a generation, leaving us at the whim of unstable foreign markets and their skyrocketing prices.

“I would further ask Mr. Weaver how his votes to raise the state minimum gas tax level twice in the last two years, from 1.11 to 1.22 per gallon in 2005 and to 1.34 in 2006, have worked to address rising fuel prices? In my 12 years in elected office, I have never once voted for a gas tax increase. It is bad policy that further compounds price burdens on families, farmers and small businesses.

"While Mike Weaver’s liberal friends continue to invoke their reflexive partisan objections and chronic obstructions to progress on this important issue, Republicans are taking action to lower gas prices by decreasing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

"Through my position on the House Ways and Means Committee, I have been able to incorporate several important tax incentives in recent energy bills to further the use of alternative fuels. I successfully worked to add provisions in the Energy Policy Act to provide tax credits for the creation and use of ethanol and biodiesel and increase national alternative fuel consumption requirements. The Jobs Creation Act included an additional measure I introduced to provide tax incentives for retail outlets to install E-85 tanks. My advocacy for alternative fuels extends back to my earlier years in Congress, including my introduction of the Ethanol and Biodiesel Promotion Act in 2001.

"I believe Kentucky, with its strong crop base and vast natural resources, can play a major role in providing new and renewable energy alternatives. I will continue to work hard in Congress to provide long term solutions to lower gas prices by promoting the development and use of a diversified, domestic energy supply, strengthening Kentucky’s position as a leading force to meet national energy needs through future decades.