Friday, April 08, 2011

House Natural Resources Committee Goes to Louisiana

The House Natural Resources Committee is going to Louisiana.

On Tuesday, the Committee announced a mid-April field hearing in Louisiana to hear first-hand from residents on how the President’s de facto moratorium is affecting the offshore energy industry and impacting the local communities.

On Monday, April 18th the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a Full Committee oversight field hearing in Houma, LA entitled “Gulf of Mexico: A Focus on Community Recovery and New Response Technology.”
“This field hearing is an opportunity for Congress to listen to the people, communities and businesses in the Gulf of Mexico that were directly impacted by the tragic rig explosion, oil spill and the Administration’s de facto moratorium,” said Chairman Doc Hastings. “We’ll examine on-going obstacles to getting people back to work, environmental impacts, and new technology to ensure that U.S. offshore drilling moves forward safely and responsibly.”

Chairman Hastings is doing what President Obama and his team will not do. Hastings is taking the entire committee to coastal Louisiana to learn the facts on the ground. The President continues to make questionable statements and tout progress that simply isn't true. In reality, any boost to crude oil production in recent months is due to lagging results from the policy decisions of former President Bush. That is an inconvenient truth for Team Obama so they go around it.

With gas prices rising as we go into summer vacation season, and with crude oil at $109 per barrel, the President has hit the road himself. He is in full re-election mode and doesn't want the voter to understand the folly of his energy (non)policy decisions during his term in office. Of rising gas prices, he recently said:

“I'm just going to be honest with you. There's not much we can do next week or two weeks from now…Gas prices? They're going to still fluctuate until we can start making these broader changes, and that's going to take a couple of years to have serious effect.”

Funny. Then Senator Obama certainly thought it was President Bush's fault when prices rose at the gas pump in his second term. I suppose that was then and this is now.

The Obama administration continues to use the tragic Deepwater Horizon explosion as an excuse to shut down oil production domestically. He continues to favor wind energy, which is a component of a common sense energy policy but not the sole answer to our energy needs. We need oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and wind, too. Our dependence on fossil fuel will not be eliminated for decades to come. It's a fact.

Chairman Hastings has introduced several bills to change the course of the direction we are going. They would end the Administration’s de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, restart lease sales that the Administration canceled, and reverse the President’s moratorium on other offshore areas. These bills would cut foreign oil imports by a one-third and according to a leading economist create up to 1.2 million jobs long-term.

It is past time for ideological power grabbing and time for common sense energy policy development.

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