Bush holds Democrats responsible for energy shortage
...This is a message that was needed. Republicans would be wise to support the President on the message and make it a theme this year. It explains how the Democrats have screwed up the economy and particularly the energy business since they took over control of Congress. There policy of starving the energy sector to drive up prices in hopes of lowering demand is why oil prices are so high and electric bills are so high. We are all having to pay more for their goo-goo environmentalism.
"It's a tough time for our economy," Bush said in an opening statement. "Across our country, many Americans are understandably anxious about issues affecting their pocketbook, from gas and food prices to mortgage and tuition bills. They're looking to their elected leaders in Congress for action. Unfortunately, on many of these issues, all they're getting is delay."
Bush said he has "repeatedly submitted proposals to help address these problems. Yet time after time Congress chose to block them."
He charged that although lawmakers have called on foreign governments to increase their oil production, they have opposed efforts to expand production in the United States, blocking "environmentally safe exploration" for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska.
Bush cited an Energy Department estimate that drilling in the refuge could allow the United States to produce about 1 million additional barrels of oil a day, yielding about 27 million gallons of extra gasoline and diesel a day.
"That would be about a 20 percent increase of . . . crude oil production over U.S. levels, and it would likely mean lower gas prices," Bush said. "And yet such efforts to explore in ANWR have been consistently blocked."
He also attributed high gas prices to a lack of U.S. refining capacity, noting that the last new domestic oil refinery was built more than 30 years ago. "Yet in this area, too, Congress has repeatedly blocked efforts to expand capacity and build more refineries," Bush said.
He went on the accuse Congress of impeding "provisions needed to increase domestic electricity production by expanding the use of clean, safe nuclear power."
And he charged that instead of dealing with rising food prices, lawmakers are "considering a massive, bloated farm bill that would do little to solve the problem" and would not "eliminate subsidy payments to multimillionaire farmers." Describing the U.S. farm economy as "thriving," Bush said now is the "right time to reform our nation's farm policies by reducing unnecessary subsidies."
Here is a transcript of the President's remarks.