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Senate Western Caucus to Push Domestic Energy

Eleven Republicans from western and rural states have formed the Senate Western Caucus (SWC) to promote exploration and production of more domestic energy, including onshore and offshore oil and natural gas. "America deserves an all-of-the-above energy strategy," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), caucus chairman who, along with several other Republicans, introduced comprehensive energy legislation that supports the development of domestic resources, such as wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal and oil and natural gas.

"The West is well positioned to be a leader in energy development, and I will work with my colleagues on the caucus to hold the administration accountable [to] its promise to produce more energy at home," said Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT), a caucus member.

"The Obama budget is a key indicator that the administration's priorities are narrowly focused when it comes to establishing an energy plan in our country. America needs an energy plan that is comprehensive and includes not only renewable energy, but oil and gas development and nuclear energy as well," Bennett said.

"Our bill would open up additional onshore and offshore areas to oil and gas development. It would reduce our dependence on foreign oil while promoting conservation and efficiency," Barrasso noted.

"We call ourselves the Senate Western Caucus, but we're fighting for all Americans who pump gas into their car, turn on the lights at home, or want to feed their children healthy, affordable meals," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Other SWC members are Sens. Mike Crapo of Idaho, John Ensign of Nevada, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Jim Risch of Idaho, Pat Roberts of Kansas and David Vitter of Louisiana.

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