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Lowering Gas Prices By Increasing Supply

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Lowering Gas Prices By Increasing Supply

Congressman John Boehner
June 13, 2008

One million barrels of oil produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.

Its estimated that we have some 86 billions barrels of American oil, including about 10.4 billion barrels of oil in a tiny, desolate portion of the Arctic coastal plain. There could be another 2 trillion barrels of oil shale in the Rocky Mountains.

Yet last year, the Department of Energy states that we imported more than 5 million barrels of oil a day from OPEC countries because our own resources are under the lock and key of extreme regulations. The Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial, Record-high fuel costs are hitting consumers and business like a huge tax increase. Yet the U.S. remains one of the only countries in the world that chooses as a matter of policy to lock up its natural resources. The Chinese think were insane and self-destructive, while the Saudis laugh all the way to the bank.

Last June, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) proclaimed, We Democrats declare Americas independence from foreign oil. Her actions, though, speak louder than her words. During the 18 years Speaker Pelosi and I have served together in the U.S. House of Representatives, we have voted on 46 bills to bring more American energy to the market. I voted 46 times to increase our energy supply; Speaker Pelosi voted twice just twice in 18 years to increase our energy supply.

Given those actions, one does have to wonder how committed the person running the House is to actually increasing the supply of American energy so gas prices will go down.

For years now, Ive listened to the arguments of colleagues who do not believe that unlocking our natural resources will lower fuel costs.

You cant drill your way out of this problem, they say, so we have to turn to alternative energy. We do need to develop and expand the use of alternative energy sources a national priority, but the notion that American families have to suffer while alternative energy sources are developed is nonsense. In the short-term, we need increased domestic oil production to lower gas prices for American families while these alternative energy sources are developed and phased into use.

It will be years before drilling brings down the cost of gas, they claim. Its true that it will take years for Americans to begin pulling oil out of the Alaskan coastal plain but thats no reason not to green-light this. In 1995, the Republican Congress passed legislation to open for drilling a very small area of the 19-million acres that make up federally-protected lands in Alaska. President Clinton vetoed it. If we had started drilling back then, today we would be getting about 1 million barrels of American-oil each day instead of buying it from other nations.

Unfortunately, congressional opponents of increasing American-made energy have chosen to keep us in the clutches of foreign governments. Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee recently killed an amendment authored by Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) that would have allowed allow exploration of deep ocean resources. Its estimated we could find as much as 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), but Democrats in Congress wont let Americans touch it. They reaffirmed their position this month by killing the Peterson amendment before it could even come to the House floor for a debate.

The Democrat-led Congress has found time lately to name dozens of post offices across America. It has even found time to consider legislation that would increase the number of visas granted to international supermodels. But to date, it hasn\’t taken a single step to unlock Americas vast energy potential on behalf of American families and small businesses who are getting pounded by high gas prices.

In the chamber of the House of Representatives, a quote from Daniel Webster is inscribed above the Speaker’s rostrum. It reads: Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also in our day and generation may not perform something worthy to be remembered. America is waiting for the Democrat-led Congress to answer Websters call.

Boehner represents Ohios 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.


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