Westmoreland: President Obama's Energy Plan Is to Drive Up Cost of Gas, Then Tap Emergency Reserve for Political Points

Press Release

Date: March 2, 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Oil and Gas

Gas prices have begun a dramatic climb earlier than normal this year, with many experts anticipating more drivers than ever will pay $5 per gallon. This follows an almost 100 percent increase in gas prices since President Obama took office in 2009. In February 2009, gas prices on average were $1.92 a gallon. Gas prices as of February 27, 2012 are an average of $3.72. Many experts say this is due to the president's energy policies that promote "green' energy, which currently only supplies about 8 percent of our total energy usage, over traditional forms of energy.

"Don't let the president's campaign rhetoric fool you; this is exactly what he wants," stated Westmoreland. "Whether he's blocking oil exploration permits, refusing to authorize the Keystone Pipeline, or having his attack dogs at the EPA enact billions of dollars in new regulations on energy companies, President Obama has done nothing but make sure gas prices would rise in order to appease his environmental buddies. His own Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said he wanted to raise our gas prices to the same levels as Europe -- where people in Italy are paying $9.24 a gallon."

In the wake of the prices at the pump, President Obama and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate have proposed tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The SPR was established in 1975 after the oil embargoes in 1973 and 1974 caused major supply disruptions and resulted in extremely high gas prices. It was created to serve as a backup in cases of extreme emergency and has only been tapped on six occasions, two of which were test sales. Most recently, the SPR was used in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina shutdown about 25 percent of total U.S. output and in 2011 after the uprisings in the Middle East caused a disruption of supply.

"Apparently, the president's energy plan is to drive up the price of gas with his anti-American energy policies, then, when pressured by the American people because of the high prices, he wants to tap into our emergency oil reserves for political points," stated Westmoreland. "This is no way to govern. Even Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer opposes tapping into the SPR, stating, "It was not set up to manage prices.' The only way to create long-term solutions to our energy costs is for the president to stop his permatorium on drilling and adopt an all-of-the-above energy plan that takes advantage of all possible energy options -- not just the ones promoted by the environmental extremists that donate to his campaign."

House Republicans have passed dozens of pieces of legislation that would expand American energy production, however many of them have been held up in the Senate. Recently, House Republicans pushed to have President Obama finally approve the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, a project that would have created tens of thousands of direct jobs and brought much-needed oil shale to the United States. Unfortunately, the president refused to support the project.