WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today issued the following statement regarding today’s vote on the McConnell Amendment to the Flood Insurance Bill, which contains the American Energy Production Act Domenici introduced two weeks ago:
“Today, the Senate missed an important opportunity to end the cycle of dependence on foreign oil. The McConnell/Domenici amendment the Senate rejected today would have produced up to 24 billion barrels of American oil, enough to supply our nation with no foreign imports for five years.
“Some around here may wonder why Congress has such low approval ratings. This is why. Americans are being forced to pay higher and higher prices at the pump, with no relief in sight. Adopting this amendment would have given us a path forward, and send a strong signal to the world’s oil markets that America was willing to fully develop its own energy resources. I strongly support all of our efforts to reduce consumption and develop renewable energy, but we cannot rely on those alone to solve our problems.
“I am pleased, however, that the Senate did adopt an amendment to suspend filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Although this amendment won’t have a dramatic effect on gas prices, it does reflect the fact that when oil now costs over $120 dollars a barrel, we need to begin doing things differently. I wish more of my colleagues had recognized that fact with regard to increasing domestic production.”