AEA awards Reps. Nick Rahall and Maurice Hinchey with “Lump of Coal.”

WASHINGTON D.C. — Sorting through the list of potential recipients for the inaugural “Lump of Coal” Award was a laborious process for the judges at the American Energy Alliance this year.  But undeterred in the quest to find America’s naughtiest politicians, policy makers, and other professionals who just don’t understand how energy markets work, the judges emerged from their frack-friendly conference room convinced that the second award this year should be shared between West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall and his Empire State colleague, Rep. Maurice Hinchey.

“Affordable American energy has suffered tremendous setbacks because of Nick Rahall and Maurice Hinchey.  Together, these two legislators worked under Speaker Nancy Pelosi to erect ridiculous bureaucratic barriers to domestic energy development.  They supported policies that lead to higher gas prices.  And they backed an agenda that has stifled economic recovery and job creation,” said AEA President Tom Pyle in the award announcement.

“During his inglorious chairmanship of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rahall pushed to limit the acreage of federal lands available for exploration and expand the bureaucratic red tape in the federal leasing process.  As Speaker Pelosi’s stooge on the natural resources committee, Rahall toed the San Francisco line to secure his chairmanship.  Now that he’s moved to the transportation committee, he’s embracing more sensible energy policies.  If the trend continues, he probably won ‘t be eligible for the ‘Lump of Coal’ award next year.  So we wanted to make sure he received one this year to memorialize his past failures.

“As for Hinchey, there is no greater enemy of domestic shale oil and gas exploration.  He wants to repeal important laws that have allowed for the economic boom in places like North Dakota, where unemployment is now at 3.5 percent (the lowest in the country).  He endlessly repeats false rhetoric about the fracturing technologies, which have been used safely in the United States without evidence of water contamination for more than 50 years.

“In the long history of famous couples, Mo and Nick are right up there with Turner and Hooch, Cagney and Lacey, Mutt and Jeff, Heckle and Jeckle, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.  Today’s award for energy stupidity is rightly shared by these two clowns.”

Earlier this week, the American Energy Alliance previewed the inaugural 2011 “Lump of Coal Awards” for energy stupidity, which will be announced December 8-23, 2011.  To learn more about coal’s important place in America’s energy future, click here.  To learn the facts about coal production in the United States, click here.


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