Doherty Polishes Energy Credentials

When it comes to oil, Doherty knows the drill

Larry Joe Doherty
Larry Joe Doherty (Photo by John Anderson)

"We can have drillin'; we just can't have spillin'," said Larry Joe Doherty last week in his classic Texas drawl. And with that declaration, Doherty became the latest Democrat determined not to get outmaneuvered by the Republicans on the energy issue. Speaking at a reception in his honor at the West Austin home of Dawn Lewis and husband/campaign finance reform activist Fred Lewis, the candidate for Congressional District 10 didn't dwell on the issue long but called for a 20-year energy plan for the U.S. After his speech, Doherty told the Chronicle: "I've fished under some great drilling rigs. We need to make sure we have the technology to ensure the safety of drilling." However, he also stood by the traditional Democratic position that drilling won't provide the immediate relief Republicans claim. "The Department of Energy says oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 10 years away," Doherty said. "It won't reduce the price of a barrel of oil 75 cents. Do we need to rush it? No. There are millions of barrels of oil remaining on existing leases right now. ... ANWR is a scare tactic." Asked if his position of "don't take any options off the table" is the same as the "all-of-the-above" position claimed by incumbent Republican Michael McCaul, Doherty said McCaul doesn't really support alternative energy "because he's voted against it." McCaul points to alternative energy measures he has backed, but he consistently gets low ratings from environmental groups that track congressional voting.

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