WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, issued the following statement today in response to President Obama’s remarks on U.S. energy policy, rising gasoline prices, and the prospect of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve:
“America needs a long-term, visionary energy strategy that begins with increased American energy production. For too long, opponents of American energy have cited the time it takes to go from exploration to production as an excuse for inaction. This is not a reason to delay – it is an urgent call for action.
“The fact is, domestic oil production is projected to decrease in future years in large measure because of the actions this administration has taken to lock away our vast energy resources. Families are struggling with high prices at the pump today, and they will not stand for a government that refuses to take the steps needed now to alleviate that pain for the future.
“Despite the President’s calls to “˜boost domestic production of oil and gas,’ the administration’s record tells a different story. Only one deepwater drilling permit has been issued since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and this was just issued last week. The many struggling small businesses and families who continue to suffer the effects of the ongoing de facto moratorium in the Gulf deserve better.
“I also appreciate the President’s recognition that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not a realistic solution to recent gasoline and oil price increases. But, the SPR should not be looked at as a revenue source in the budget as the administration suggests. I also remain concerned that the administration is so quick to point to the 727 million barrels in the SPR while ignoring the 50 billion barrels of oil that America could tap if we stopped embargoing our own resources.
“With the American Energy Initiative, the House is taking a broad-based approach to energy reform that looks at both our immediate challenges and our opportunities for longer-term energy security. Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee is announcing a series of American Energy Initiative hearings to identify impediments that prevent greater domestic and North American energy production. We will focus, as we have consistently, on an all-of-the-above discussion that asks what can be done to bring down fuel prices, expand access to affordable energy sources of all types, create more American jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign energy.”