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Natural Resources Committee Republicans Call for Expanded American Energy Production to Create Jobs, Curb Rising Gasoline Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 17, 2011 - Today, the House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing on how to harness American resources to create jobs and address rising gasoline prices. The Committee heard from several energy experts who discussed America’s vast energy reserves on federal lands.

According to a recently released Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, the United States combined recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal resources is 1.3 trillion barrels of oil equivalent – the largest in the world.

“The best way for the United States to insulate ourselves long-term from unpredictable world events and rising gasoline prices is to produce more American energy here at home. We have the resources to produce our own energy and we have the best and latest technology to accomplish it safely. But, for some baffling reason this Administration is choosing not to do so. Since the President’s earliest days in office, his Administration has blocked, delayed, hindered and obstructed energy production across America – from coast to coast, onshore and offshore, and all the way up to Alaska,” said Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).

What Republicans Are Saying About Rising Gasoline Prices:

“The upheaval in the Middle East threatens the stability of petroleum supplies worldwide causing a dramatic rise in gas prices. The Obama administration’s drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico is hurting the working people all over the Gulf state regions not to mention working poor who cannot afford the high gas prices this administration has helped cause. The administration has also made America even more dependent on foreign oil. America’s economy doesn’t run on moonbeams and windmills. We need to harvest our own natural resources,” said Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01).

“There is enough oil and natural gas on our public lands to heat 60 million homes for 160 years and fuel 65 million cars for 60 years, yet restrictive federal policies prevent us from accessing these vital domestic resources-and under this Administration the situation is only getting worse. Providing access to resources currently off limits would not only increase our domestic oil and gas production by two million barrels a day, it would help us create thousands of much-needed jobs, including in Utah, where 77 oil and gas leases were canceled in the first weeks of the current Administration. Today’s gas prices and unaffordable home energy bills are further examples of the collateral damage that has resulted from the Administration’s harmful policies,” said National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01).

“This surge in gas prices is a stark reminder that we need an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy policy. Americans can no longer afford the Obama administration’s irresponsible energy policies when gas prices are spiking to $4 per gallon. Actions speak louder than words. The Obama administration says that it wants to give Americans relief at the pump but that is clearly not the case. The Obama Administration continues to advocate for higher gas prices in order to push energy policy driven by liberal ideology rather than the facts. This is an unacceptable approach and Americans deserve better,” said Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee Chairman John Fleming (LA-04).

“Americans can no longer afford burdensome government policies that are driving up gas prices and inhibiting our ability to create American jobs and decrease our debt. We need to increase domestic energy production along the outer continental shelf and open ANWR for oil and gas production in order to put Americans back to work and decrease our dependence on foreign entities,” said Congressman Jeff Denham (CA-19).

“While I appreciate this Administration's stated commitment to expand domestic oil production, actions speak louder than words, and the President can demonstrate his seriousness by ordering his departments to begin reissuing drilling permits immediately. The Obama Administration's de facto moratorium on offshore drilling is placing a de facto middle class tax increase on the American people in a time when they can least afford it. This Administration's energy policies bring uncertainty to our economy, slow economic growth, and most importantly place an even greater burden on American families,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03).

“The Obama Administration’s ‘no-across-the-board’ energy policy has stifled domestic energy development, leaving the U.S. vulnerable to an unstable foreign energy supply, and killing good-paying jobs. My district has abundant natural resources including oil, natural gas, and coal. America’s energy strategy must include all of the above so we can to wean ourselves off of foreign oil and create jobs,” said Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3).

“Arizona’s First Congressional District can be a model for energy driven economic recovery in this country. Rural Arizona is rich with natural resources ripe for extraction and contains diverse climates that are conducive to all forms of energy generation, traditional fossil fuels, hydro-electric, solar, and wind power, but employment in Arizona’s natural resources and mining sector has remained stagnant for nearly two years. The federal government needs to get out of the way, remove regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to development and generation, and put Arizonans back to work,” said Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-01).

“Unfortunately, the President has failed to learn what the American people already know: higher energy costs destroy American jobs. To ensure long-term economic growth in my North Florida district, a region fueled by agriculture producers and travel and tourism, it’s going to take an all-of-the-above approach that encourages innovation rather than penalizing production,” said Congressman Steve Southerland (FL-02).

“There is no denying that the Obama Administration’s reckless policies of blocking and delaying American energy production have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on skyrocketing gasoline prices. Gas prices are going up as demand increases. Due to the ‘permitorium’ in the Gulf of Mexico compounded with unrest in the Middle East, our supply of energy resources have not been able to keep up with growing demand. Prices will continue to rise until we take the critical first step to unlock our taxpayer-owned American energy resources and help increase supply,” said Congressman Bill Flores (TX-17).

“The dramatic 92 percent increase in gas prices over the last 26 months is a direct result of the President’s failed oil-free, green energy policy. We can lower the pain at the pump by responsibly increasing domestic energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and ANWR, by using renewable energy sources, and by allowing OCS lease sales along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts,” said Congressman Jeff Landry (LA-03).

“Our country is on the verge of an energy and financial crisis. Oil prices have skyrocketed in less than a month by over 40 cents on average, and if we continue on this course it will be truly detrimental to our economy and cut into the pocketbooks of American families. America needs energy solutions and those solutions start with our abundant resources here at home,” said Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03).


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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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