Political Notebook: Linder votes against Pelosi's 'deceptive' energy bill

U.S. Rep. John Linder said he stepped up for the American people when he voted against "Speaker Nancy Pelosi's deceptive energy bill."

The Republican from Duluth said he thought Congress could do better than that bill.

"I simply can't understand why Speaker Pelosi wants hard-working Americans to pay more at the pump," he said. "I assume she believes that we should all pay as much as her constituents in San Francisco for a gallon of gas, because once her energy bill raises taxes on energy companies, both big and small, they will pass along the cost increases to consumers and prices will spike even higher."

The bill, he pointed out, would take away royalties from coastal states, including Georgia, giving energy companies permission to drill between 50 and 100 miles of the state's coast for free.

"This phony attempt by Speaker Pelosi and her radical, left-wing, environmental lobbyist friends to convince the American people that this bill will increase energy production and lower prices for consumers is a transparent and obvious attempt at political gain," he said. He voted against the bill Tuesday, along with 189 House colleagues from both parties. "The American people want real reform and real solutions to our energy problems. They deserve a chance to have their House vote on the Republican alternative energy bill, H.R. 6566, the 'American Energy Act.'"

While Georgia's oil would be free, Linder added that the bill would take away any possibility of exploration and development of reserves along the West Coast, since about 95 of California's reserves are within 25 miles of the coastline and all of the known resources off the shores of Washington, Oregon and northern and central California are within 50 miles of shore.

"The future of this country is at stake, and Speaker Pelosi seems content to offer fake solutions to real problems," Linder said. "We cannot continue to play these partisan games while the American people suffer with rapidly increasing prices. I stand with the American people in calling on Speaker Pelosi to bring us a clean energy bill free from tax increases, drilling prohibitions and certain price hikes for consumers."

But Hank Johnson, who also represents a portion of Gwinnett, said he thinks the bill will help.

"This energy bill will provide us with an American-owned energy policy that the Bush-McCain Republicans have failed to deliver in the past eight years," Johnson, a Democrat from Atlanta, said. "If anyone seriously believes in the short-sighted and irresponsible policy of, drill, drill, drill, then I have a bridge in Alaska I'd like to sell them. ... I am proud of my colleagues who had the best interests of average Americans at heart. They did not fall victim to empty, partisan rhetoric. We can take pride that we have done more to secure America's energy future in two years than the Bush-McCain energy policies did in eight."