Emerson Criticizes U.S. Spending For Brazilian Oil Development

Press Release

Date: Aug. 20, 2009
Location: Washington, D.C.

Emerson Criticizes U.S. Spending For Brazilian Oil Development

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) had strong words today for a U.S. commitment by the U.S. Import-Export Bank to underwrite $2 billion for offshore oil exploration by Brazilian energy company Petrobras.

“It's totally ridiculous that, at a time when we should be completely focused on ways to boost domestic production of affordable fuels, we are lending $2 billion to finance a project in another hemisphere,” Emerson said. “This administration can get behind offshore drilling in Brazil, but it is completely ignoring the reality of the ongoing energy crisis here at home.”

An August 18th editorial in The Wall Street Journal called the deal “corporate foreign aid” and said, “Americans are right to wonder why Mr. Obama is underwriting in Brazil what he won't allow at home.”

Emerson added, “Americans should be outraged that after years of public outcry, this nation still lacks a comprehensive national energy policy. We have vast offshore resources of oil and natural gas which are untouched, and practically no effort is being made to bring these fuels to the U.S. market. Instead, Congress and the President are focused on carbon tax proposals to raise the cost of energy at home by 40 to 80 percent.”

Emerson just completed her annual tour of agricultural operations and businesses in 18 counties of the 28-county Eighth Congressional District, where she says $2 billion of investment in domestic fuels would go a long way.

“Not only would we lower and then stabilize fuel prices in America with this kind of investment, but we would also bring security to our economy instead of relying on foreign countries in OPEC to supply us energy. This is a leading issue for every family in Southern Missouri, and it is especially important to families in rural America where we rely on our cars and trucks for work, for school and on errands. Unlike urban areas where public transportation provides an alternative to driving, our lives and our economy are very much affected by the price of gasoline,” Emerson said. “I hope that in the future, before lending money to foreign countries so they can develop their own fuels and compete against us, this administration might instead consider making the investment in America.”