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DOE SECRETARY ISSUES STATEMENT

 DOE SECRETARY ISSUES STATEMENT
 WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by


Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins in response to action by the House of Representatives on H.R. 776, the National Energy Security Act of 1992:
 I am generally pleased with the progress of the House of Representatives on H.R. 776, the National Energy Security Act of 1992. During the House consideration of the comprehensive energy bill this week, a number of important issues have been debated and resolved as recommended in the President's National Energy Strategy, issued in February 1991.
 -- The House approved by a 254-160 margin the Clement-Barton nuclear licensing reform amendment, which properly balances effective public participation in the licensing process with the predictability and finality necessary to allow future investment in nuclear powerplants.
 -- The House approved today an Energy and Commerce Committee amendment that allows DOE to pursue site characterization activities at the candidate nuclear waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nev. By bringing a halt to the legal impediments raised by the State of Nevada, DOE now can complete its work assessing the suitability of the proposed site. Combined with the Clement-Barton amendment, this provision will allow nuclear power to help meet America's future electricity needs.
 In addition, the Ways and Mean Committee's amendment providing alternative minimum tax relief for oil and gas producers was included in the House bill. This relief is strongly supported by the President.
 -- I regret that the House approved an amendment offered by Reps. Markey and Scheuer dealing with State authority to regulate natural gas production (so-called "prorationing"). We will work to see this amendment dropped or substantially amended at the upcoming House-Senate conference, if not before.
 I look forward to working with the House when they continue their consideration of H.R. 776 on May 27. I hope the progress made thus far will carry over as we face important issues such an the proposed in-kind tax on petroleum for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is strongly opposed by the administration.
 -0- 5/21/92
 /CONTACT: Joseph C. Karpinski of the Department of Energy, 202-586-4940/ CO: Department of Energy ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


PS -- NY116 -- 3139 05/21/92 20:07 EDT
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Date:May 21, 1992
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