This really exposes the minds of those who would have us despoil our land and keep us addicted to oil until the end. It’s all about making a few people richer. But hey baby, live for today!
“We Want More Millionaires In America”: With Gas Prices Soaring, Lawmakers Call For President Obama To Stop Picking On Oil Industry
With Americans feeling pain at the pump due to soaring gas prices, House Republicans today announced a plan to try to expand American energy production and end Obama administration policies that they contend are harmful both to prices and job growth.
The GOP’s effort, dubbed the American Energy Initiative, was unveiled today by House Speaker John Boehner.
“Just as with jobs, the American people recognize that Washington has been a big part of the problem when it comes to the price of energy,” Boehner said at his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.
“If you watch what this administration has done for the last two years in their regulatory process, they’ve stopped drilling in the Gulf, they’ve slowed the number of leases coming out of the government, and they’re imposing these EPA regulations on American businesses that are going to sharply increase the cost of energy in America,” he added.
Across the Hill the Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell argued that the Obama administration is “actively working to prevent us from increasing our own oil production here at home.”
“Now is the time to be asking what we can do to increase domestic energy production, not proposing ways to squeeze American families even more,” he said. “And that’s why all of these actions by the administration, along with a tax hike on energy production some have proposed that will only be passed on to consumers in the form of even higher gas prices, is the last thing Americans need right now.”
Republicans are not alone in their arguments that the White House should do more to help boost domestic energy production. Some Democrats such as Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu have voiced frustration with the administration’s treatment of the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Wednesday Landrieu beat back questions about why Congress continues to grant billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies that are currently raking in massive profits, all at a time when Americans are spending more at the pump and the government is running up record deficits.
“Every time the companies start making money people want to tax what they get, but when they’re losing money no one wants to help them because of this sort of bias against oil and gas companies which comes from some sector, you know, of our democracy,” Landrieu said.
“We want to create more millionaires in America. We want to create more wealth in America, so we’ve got to be careful about continuing to pick on this industry every time somebody is looking for a dime around Washington, DC,” she added.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX, echoed that argument.
“In a bad economic climate with the thousands of jobs that are supported by the oil industry, it’s not the time to raise prices on the consumer and certainly not to penalize oil companies in a different way from every other industry if we hope to promote job growth,” Hutchison said.
“It’s the turmoil in the Middle East that has driven up the cost. The answer to that is more supply – it is to get these rigs drilling, get these rigs producing, have more capability for refinery capacity and then the price will come down.”
Hutchison and Landrieu have introduced a bill that would extend the time lost on oil leases due to the administration’s drilling moratorium in the Gulf.
Across the aisle Rep. Ed Markey, the top Democrat on the House National Resources Committee, today joined a growing chorus of Democrats who have called on the White House to open the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to bring down the price of oil.
“Whether higher prices or disrupted supply happen from an act of God or an act of Gaddafi, the United States should respond by deploying the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to protect us from slipping back into recession once again,” Markey said at a press conference on the Hill.
“I believe that the emergency is right now,” he added.