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Pickering to head energy task force

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
March 2, 2001
The nation's energy policy is outdated and needs a major overhaul, according to U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss.
As a member of the House Energy and Commerce committee, Pickering is leading a task force that will develop the policy's framework. The group will be made up of members of Congress and will work closely with the Bush administration.
High utility bills and power shortages in different parts of the country are symptoms of the problem, said Pickering, who pointed out that the current policy was written in 1992.
He said the current energy problem was caused, in part, by the environmental policies of the Clinton administration.
But the problem is more serious than unavailable energy reserves, Pickering said, noting that some areas of the country do not have the pipelines and other infrastructure needed to bring in extra supplies of oil, power and gas.
Pickering's task force will also seek to review renewable and alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Other possibilities include nuclear power and coal.
Pickering said Mississippi stands to benefit from the new energy policy.
Pickering said he is no stranger to this type of work. As a staff member for Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, he played similar roles in the writing of the Telecommunications Bill and the national energy policy when it was established in 1992.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at