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House Democrats to Start Unveiling Energy Agenda

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will unveil an energy legislation package Thursday morning, one day after House Republicans launched their own task force to stay ahead of the issue.

The California Democrat will introduce a bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Bishop (N.Y.) as the first part of House Democrats’ energy agenda, according to a Pelosi aide. Bishop’s bill would end government subsidies for oil companies, among other changes, and other energy measures will be rolled out in the coming weeks, the aide said.

Pelosi’s news conference comes the same day that the House is expected to debate legislation that would expedite the permit process for oil drilling. Republicans and some coastal Democrats, particularly those from Louisiana, have accused the Obama administration of not doing enough to revive oil exploration off the Gulf Coast since the BP oil spill last year.

Pelosi’s energy push also follows House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) first huddle with a new internal GOP task force aimed at promoting Republicans’ energy message. The GOP’s House Energy Action Team is an attempt to counter the public’s perception that Congress is not focused on energy and rising gas prices.

Democrats have likewise sought to win the messaging wars on gas prices. Rank-and-file Members, Pelosi and President Barack Obama penned letters to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last month calling on the House to consider legislation that would end subsidies to oil companies, as Bishop’s bill would do.

House Democrats are also seeking to rev up their messaging on jobs this week. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), Pelosi and several others unveiled on Wednesday the latest addition to their “Make It in America” agenda, which Hoyer introduced last year in the lead-up to the midterm elections.