WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s recent comments about rising gasoline prices:
“While I welcome the president’s stated commitment to develop ‘every available’ energy source and his reluctant acknowledgment that increasing domestic production does help reduce prices, many of his recent comments and his administration’s actions have been disappointing to those of us who have long been working to make energy more affordable.
“Higher energy prices have been this administration’s policy goal, or at least been acceptable as collateral damage – as evidenced by its support for cap-and-trade legislation, its barrage of EPA regulations, the bureaucratic thicket it forces producers to navigate, and the tens of billions of dollars in tax hikes it’s attempting to impose on those who produce the energy we depend on.
“Now, to deflect the pain that Americans are feeling at the pump, the president is taking credit for the uptick in domestic production caused by development on state and private lands and on federal leases let under previous administrations, and by technological innovations. This is the time the president should be describing what he’s done to reduce energy costs, but from the stimulus bill to his annual budget proposals and the dozens of decisions that have hindered domestic production, the reality is that this administration’s actions have contributed to increased energy costs.
“For decades, Democrats have argued against drilling because production takes years to come on line. That, however, is an argument for acting now, instead of claiming that because it takes time, we should never start. If the president is serious about addressing high gas prices, he should acknowledge the positive effects of increased supply and act to bring production on federal lands up to state and private levels.
“If the president is serious about making energy more affordable he should focus on supply and demand. He should approve the Keystone XL pipeline. He should pursue production from the non-wilderness portion of ANWR and he should open new offshore resources to development. He should stop his EPA from shutting down refineries. He should allow development of oil shale and other oil prospects in the West. He should streamline the permitting process and reduce regulations that are driving up the cost of producing energy. He should do more than rhetorically embrace the Republican all-of-the-above energy policy that he is suddenly claiming as his own.”
“Instead, he continues to claim that America has only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. That number deliberately understates America’s resources – it doesn’t count where we haven’t been allowed to drill.”
Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
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