(WASHINGTON) — Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan says in this week’s Republican address that “energy could be a great American success story,” but the energy policies of the Obama administration “are moving us backwards, and making gas prices even worse.”
Upton quotes Vice President Biden as saying that “our energy policy is the best it’s ever been,” before pointing out that the “facts say otherwise.” Under President Obama, Upton says the U.S. oil production on federal lands is declining, but that federal agencies continue to regulate the energy sector more and more, pushing gas prices for Americans higher. Republicans have long criticized the president’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline, and Upton, who is the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, is no exception.
Rising energy prices, Upton says, have real consequences — namely the prospect of fewer jobs for Americans. But Upton says that within days the House energy committee will consider two bills that are part of the American Energy Initiative to address rising prices.
“The first of our committee’s measures pushes the pause button on costly new regs affecting refineries until we study them all to determine how much they’re driving up the price at the pump,” Upton explains in the address.
“The second bill we’ll soon consider says that off the president releases oil from our emergency reserves, he must open up more federal land for energy development,” he later adds.
Upton explains that while red tape and more regulation is at least part of the problem, “we have to address supply.” The president has already tapped into the country’s emergency oil reserves once, and is thinking of doing it again, Upton says. But depleting the U.S. emergency oil supply is not a permanent solution to soaring gas prices, he says.
“Today we’re knocking at the door of a brighter energy future; one that promises abundant, secure, and cheaper North American supplies, as long as Washington doesn’t create artificial obstacles. That is what Republicans are working toward, and we invite the president to join us,” Upton says, wrapping up the address. “If he won’t lead, we will.”
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