Uploaded on May 12, 2011
Learn more at www.epw.senate.gov/inhofe
It's not surprising that Democrats in Washington have no plan to bring down rising gas prices. But make no mistake, they do have a plan—to make them go higher.
That's right: the Democrats, along with President Obama, are advocating policies that will make you pay more at the pump. And that's exactly what they want. Consider President Obama's Energy Secretary, who said, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." That's about $7 to $8 a gallon.
And I've noted before the words of Alan Krueger of the Obama Treasury Department, who said, "The Administration believes that it is no longer sufficient to address our nation's energy needs by finding more fossil fuels..."
Now with this kind of attitude—which believes that we can power our economy without more oil and gas produced here in America—it's easy to see why prices are going up. In fact, when President Obama took office, gas was $1.84 a gallon; now, it's nearly $4.00.
You see, the problem of high gas prices is about supply and demand. We have plenty of supply; in fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says we have the largest recoverable resources of oil, gas and coal of any nation on Earth. In fact, we have enough supply to make us independent of the Middle East. It's just that this Administration and the Democrats don't want us to get it.
Thanks to the Obama Interior Department's de facto moratorium on new drilling permits, I'd say they're doing a very good job of it. Also consider the Obama EPA's cap-and-trade regulations. These regulations, covering everything from farms to manufacturing facilities to power plants, are designed to make energy more expensive. When EPA gets its hands on regulating carbon dioxide from refineries, you can bet you will pay more at the pump.
Today the Democrats are supporting legislation to raise taxes on oil and gas companies. Sure, we hear this plan is about ending subsidies for companies that don't need them. But these aren't subsidies—that is, they're not government handouts or checks from taxpayers. These are tax provisions, such as expensing and depreciation—provisions that extend to nearly all companies operating in the U.S.
No, what this is about is penalizing businesses to raise more money for the Obama tax and spend machine that has left America drowning in trillion dollar deficits and debt. This has nothing to do with Big Oil or deficit reduction.
A White House spokesman recently characterized the Democrats' energy tax increase this way: "The bottom line is that there are more responsible ways to spend billions in taxpayer dollars..." That's right, he said, "Spend billions in taxpayer dollars."
The real bottom line is this: Don't be fooled when the Democrats say they're taking away "subsidies" to reduce the deficit. And any time you hear Democrats talking about deficit reduction and tax increases in the same breath, you can be sure the result will be more spending from Washington.
Somehow Democrats think it's good for the environment if energy prices rise and the economy suffers. But the environment can only improve if we have the wealth to pay for it. Somehow they think higher energy prices will spur an energy revolution so we won't need oil, coal, and natural gas. But those three energy sources are needed now and will be needed in the decades to come.
President Obama and Democrats' have a plan on gas prices—it's focused on making drivers, truckers, farmers, and small businesses pay more at the pump, and it's designed to make us import more foreign energy. Remember, it was Obama's own Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu who made this clear, saying, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." That would push gas prices up to $7 to $8 a gallon.
It's time to change course, overturn President Obama's regulatory obstacles to new production, and start producing America's abundant supply of energy. Doing so will mean more jobs, more energy, more security, and a stronger economy.
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