Republicans Blame Democrats for ‘A Nation of $4 Gasoline’

Daily News Article   —   Posted on June 9, 2008

(by Susan Jones, CNSNews.com) – As expected, gasoline prices keep rising, and Republicans are placing the blame squarely on the Democrat-led Congress. Republicans apparently see “pain at the pump” as a key election issue.

As of Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stood at a record $4.00. The price has zoomed above $4.00 in a number of states.

“As a result of this dubious milestone, motorists will pay on average $1.67 more per gallon than they were when the 110th Congress began. This represents a 71 percent increase during Nancy Pelosi’s speakership,” said Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Putnam said on the Democrats’ watch, “America has become a nation of $4 gasoline. This expensive milestone arrives two years removed from an endless stream of assurances by Democrat leaders that they had their hands on a ‘commonsense plan’ to lower gas prices,” Putnam said Sunday in a news release.

Drill for U.S. oil

Putnam accused Democrat leaders of making “empty promises.”

The American people, he added, want “real solutions that will invest in American resources, create American jobs, and lower prices for American consumers.” That means tapping U.S. oil reserves.

House Republican leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called it “insane” that the Democrat-led Congress is still refusing to allow increased production of American energy.

“Today marks another dubious day for this Do-Nothing Democratic Congress. On their watch, gas prices have soared to new heights, and by refusing to schedule a vote on a plan to increase American-made energy to help lower gas prices, congressional Democrats are complicit in this unprecedented surge in fuel costs,” Boehner said on Sunday.

He called it “inexcusable” that Democrats won’t take “meaningful action” to reduce gasoline prices, something that would help the entire economy, he said.

In April 2006, Democrats promised the American people a “commonsense plan” to bring down gas prices. But the plan does not include drilling for U.S. oil reserves. 

As Cybercast News Service has reported, huge basins of untapped oil can be found on federal lands throughout the United States, according to the federal government.

But much of that domestic oil supply cannot — and may never be — recovered, because it lies under national parks and national monuments, or it is subject to environmental laws and restrictions that make drilling prohibitive. The report, which was produced at the request of Congress by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, said there are 279 million acres under federal management where oil and gas potentially could be extracted.

Republicans insist that the solution lies in boosting the U.S. oil supply — by drilling right here.

“House Republicans have put forth a comprehensive plan to help lower gas prices by harnessing new technologies and unlocking America’s natural energy resources in an environmentally responsible way,” Boehner said.

“Every American has a right to ask: What will it take for the Democrat-controlled Congress to finally take action and help ease the pain of the Pelosi Premium on behalf of struggling families and small businesses? Speaker Pelosi has the power to schedule a vote on our plan to begin breaking America’s costly dependence on foreign sources of energy. She should not wait another day to do so.”

Republicans are reminding the American people average gas prices under the Democrat-controlled Congress have risen from $2.33 a gallon on January 4, 2007 — the first day of the Democratic Majority — to the current $4.00 a gallon.

(But Pelosi, on her official Web site, notes that gasoline prices have “more than doubled since President Bush took office.”)

Republicans say they are committed to boosting supplies of all forms of energy “right here at home” to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil. They insist oil drilling in the U.S. can be done without damage to the environment.

Republicans also are promoting “advanced” nuclear power and next-generation coal as well as renewable energy from wind and hydroelectric power.

They want to roll back burdensome regulations that limit the construction of new oil refineries.

And they would encourage greater energy efficiency by offering conservation tax incentives to Americans who make their home, car, and business more energy efficient.

The Democrats’ plan says nothing about drilling for new sources of oil.

All original CNSNews.com material, copyright 1998-2008 Cybercast News Service. Reprinted here with permission from CNSNews. Visit the website at CNSNews.com.

Questions

1.  By how much have gas prices increased since Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House?

2.  a) Who is Adam Putnam?
b)  What does Mr. Putnam accuse Democrat leaders of doing?

3.  According to Republican Congressman John Boehner, why have gas prices soared to new heights while Democrats control Congress?

4.  What solutions to gas prices do House Republicans propose in their plan? (see para. 13-14, 19-21)

5.  What are they asking Speaker Pelosi to do about their plan to ease gas prices?

6.  Republicans point out that average gas prices under the Democrat-controlled Congress have risen from $2.33 to $4.00 a gallon. Democrats say that gas prices have more than doubled since President Bush took office.  Who do you think is more responsible for high gas prices – the Democratic Congress or President Bush?  Explain your answer.

7.  The Republican plan for reducing the price of gas includes increasing supply (by drilling for oil in the U.S. as well as increasing other forms of energy – nuclear, coal, etc.) – read Background below. 
The Democratic plan calls for reducing our consumption of oil, and promoting other forms of energy – hybrid cars, increasing fuel standards for cars, etc.) – read about the plan at Speaker Pelosi’s website here.
Which plan do you think is better for Americans?  Explain your answer.

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Background

HOUSE REPUBLICAN PLAN TO LOWER GAS TAXES:
In the House of Representatives, a discharge petition can be filed after a bill has been pending, but not acted on, for 30 legislative days. Once 218 Members sign the petition, the attached legislation can be brought directly to the House floor for a vote.

Below is a schedule and brief description of the bills Republicans will file discharge petitions on and will receive a floor vote if Democrats will join them:

—  H.R. 3089, No More Excuses Energy Act of 2007 (Week of June 9th)
Reduces the price of gasoline by opening new American oil refineries; investing in diverse energy sources such as wind, nuclear, and clean coal-to-liquid technology; and making available more homegrown energy through environmentally sensitive exploration of the Arctic Energy Slope and America’s Deep-Sea Energy Reserves.

—  H.R. 2279, Expand American Refining Capacity at Closed Military Bases (Week of June 16)
Reduces the price of gasoline by streamlining the refinery application process and by requiring the President to open at least three closed military installations for the purpose of siting new and reliable American refineries.

—  H.R. 5656, To Repeal the Ban on Acquiring Alternative Fuels (Week of June 23)
Reduces the price of gasoline by allowing the federal government to procure advanced alternative fuels derived from diverse sources like oil shale, tar sands and coal-to-liquid technology.

—  H.R. 2208, Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Act (Week of July 7)
Reduces the price of gasoline by encouraging the use of clean coal-to-liquid technology authorizing the Secretary of Energy to enter into loan agreements with coal-to-liquid projects that produce innovative transportation fuel.

—  H.R. 2493, Fuel Mandate Reduction Act of 2007 (Week of July 14)
Reduces the price of gasoline by removing fuel blend requirements and onerous government mandates if they contribute to unaffordable gas prices.

—  H.R. 6107, American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act (Week of July 21)
Reduces the price of gasoline by opening the Arctic Energy Slope to environmentally sensitive American energy exploration. Exploration would be limited to 0.01% of the Refuge, and  evenue received from the new leases would be invested in a long-term alternative energy trust fund.

—  H.R. 6108, Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2008 (Week of July 28)
Reduces the price of gasoline by enabling the United States to responsibly explore its own deep ocean to produce American energy. The bill would grant coastal states the authority to keep exploration 100 miles from their coastlines and it would also allow states to share in the revenues received.

Resources

Read a previous article “U.S. Policies Put Most U.S. Oil Off-Limits to Drilling” at StudentNewsDaily here.