Domestic Energy Production Key to Lowering Gasoline Prices
Washington, May 11 -
This year approximately 32 million Americans will travel over Memorial Day weekend. While some will travel by plane, train, or bus, an estimated 87 percent will travel by car. In Central Washington, with the price of gasoline still hovering near $4 a gallon, many hard-working families will see the cost of their Memorial Day road trips increase substantially.
Now more than ever, the United States should be doing everything we can to ensure the timely and responsible production of our domestic energy resources. Instead, this White House seems to be heading in the opposite direction.
When President Obama was sworn into office, the national gasoline price average was $1.84 per gallon – meaning that prices have more than doubled in just over three years. This is in no small part due to this Administration’s regulations and policies that have closed off areas to energy production. From shooting down the Keystone XL Pipeline to halting efforts to increase offshore drilling and energy exploration on federal lands, President Obama’s policies are driving up the price at the pump and posing a serious threat to our national security.
Just this week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director for the Obama Administration told the House Natural Resources Committee that even a find of 50 billion barrels of oil offshore – which would more than double America’s known oil reserves – would not be enough for him to move forward with applications from states like Virginia for new offshore energy leases.
As Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, I have led efforts to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and lower gasoline prices for American families and small businesses. I authored three bills that passed the House of Representatives last year to reverse specific actions taken by the Obama Administration to block offshore energy production. Unfortunately, these bipartisan bills have not been considered by the Senate.
In February, my committee passed legislation to open less than three percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska for oil and natural gas production, encourage the development of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
This is only a start. I am continuing to work with my colleagues to craft additional bills to streamline government regulations that block and delay development of our onshore renewable oil and natural gas resources. These common sense proposals create more reliable and effective processes for the planning, leasing, and permitting of energy production on federal lands and most importantly eliminate barriers that hinder job creation. I am hopeful that once the House passes these measures, Senate Democrats and the Administration will not oppose American energy development and job creation.
Energy prices and production impact all of us. It is critical to lower energy costs to provide relief to Central Washington families, farmers, and small businesses. The time has come for President Obama and Senate Democrats to say yes to American-made energy and work with the House of Representatives to support efforts to lower gasoline prices and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.