Linder co-sponsors energy independence bill

U.S. Rep. John Linder became a co-sponsor last week of legislation he believes will lower energy prices and move the country toward energy independence.

That is, if the Democrats don't get in the way, he said.

Linder, R-Duluth, was one of 85 House members to present H.R. 6566, the American Energy Act.

"The American people are looking to Congress to solve skyrocketing energy prices, and, so far, Congress has done little to alleviate the problem," Linder said in a statement. "The American Energy Act will show the American people, and the rest of the world, that the United States is serious about energy independence and is willing to take the necessary steps forward."

The act is a compilation of several pieces of legislation with proposals to allow the exploration of deep water ocean resources and the Arctic coastal plain and to provide tax incentives for those who promote energy efficiency.

The legislation would also repeal a section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which he says hinders the development of coal-to-liquid technology.

"For too long Congress has allowed Americans to be held hostage by oil rich nations," the Republican said. "We have vast amounts of domestic resources just waiting to be tapped. We are to coal what the Middle East is to oil. Why are we not utilizing this asset? This bill will remedy that and a host of other shortcomings in our national energy policy. This bill is a big step in the direction I have advocated for years, total energy independence, and I am excited to see the American people embrace it."

Bannister pledges 'issues-oriented' campaign

In response to a commissioner's call for a clean campaign, Chairman Charles Bannister said he will stick to the issues in the campaign for the GOP nomination for a second term.

Bannister will face Commissioner Lorraine Green in the Aug. 5 runoff.

A week ago, Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, fresh off his own primary win, called for the two to sign a pledge, taking a swipe at Bannister for what he called "false statements" on campaign literature. Beaudreau vowed to endorse a candidate if the other failed to agree to the pledge or started negative campaigning.

"Chairman Bannister and the Bannister for Chairman campaign plan to run an honest, issue- oriented campaign that focuses on the future of Gwinnett County," Bannister's campaign chairman Jeremy Brand wrote in an e-mail, received after the previous article had been published.

Green previously said she would comply.

"I'm glad to see both parties have agreed to it," Beaudreau said. "I hope they live up to it."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.