President Proclaims October National Energy Action Month While Continuing to Block Energy Projects

October 3, 2012

President Obama issued a presidential proclamation this week declaring October 2012 “National Energy Action Month.” He stated, “I call upon the citizens of the United States to recognize this month by working together to achieve greater energy security, a more robust economy, and a healthier environment for our children.” But despite the president’s promise for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, the president’s proclamation only heightens awareness of his administration’s inaction to bring down energy prices and advance our nation’s energy security.  

According to AAA, the national average price of gasoline has broken daily record highs every day for the past six weeks. Some experts predict prices will continue to rise, putting 2012 on track to set the record for the most expensive year for gas prices ever. Patrick DeHaan, senior energy analyst for web-based price tracker, warned in USA Today, "Time to get the anti-depressants out. Not only will 2012 be the highest-ever yearly average for prices, but it sets up a perilous start for 2013."

The national average for gas prices today stands at $3.78 – that’s more than double what prices were when President Obama took office. Rather than embrace our country’s natural resources, the president’s policies are blocking energy development and obstructing our path toward greater energy independence.

Nowhere is the president’s inaction more egregious than his refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. All he has to do is say “yes” to this shovel-ready jobs and energy project, which is estimated to create a hundred thousand direct and indirect jobs and bring approximately a million additional barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries. Instead, President Obama continues to kick the can down the road, putting the landmark project, our energy security, and thousands of jobs at risk. In addition to blocking a stronger energy partnership with our North American neighbor, the president continues to keep the majority of our nation’s energy resources under lock and key. In fact, his new offshore energy plan excludes 85 percent of America’s offshore areas from production.

With gas prices at historic highs and millions of Americans still out of a job, we need a bold energy strategy that will power our economy and put Americans back to work. House Republicans have taken action to harness America’s energy resources and voted to advance approval of the Keystone XL pipeline a total of six times. A welcome step toward properly observing National Energy Action Month would be for the president to abandon his “all-of-the-above but nothing-from-below” energy policies and instead to embrace the bipartisan energy solutions being offered by Congress.