Washington, DC - Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today as the nation dealt with rising energy prices due to Hurricane Rita:
“The Bush Administration’s response to America’s energy supply problems leaves our future in the hands of the oil companies.
“Senate Democrats have offered a better plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to ease the impact of record high prices on American consumers. Instead of joining us, the White House and the rubber-stamping Republicans in Congress blocked the Democrats’ plan to make this country more energy independent by 2020.
“President Bush said today that Americans should curtail non-essential travel and we agree. But who would say that travel to school is not essential travel? It is wrong that children will be out of school today and tomorrow in Georgia because the state of Georgia is trying to cut down on its energy use. Our schools and our families should not have to face that kind of choice because their leaders in Washington refuse to act.
“President Bush’s father had the guts to call on the oil companies to keep prices low when Middle Eastern tensions soared in 1989. This President Bush wants to make sure the oil companies keep every penny of those $100 billion in profits they’re going to make this year.
“The major oil companies haven’t even tried to build one single new refinery or significantly expand a refinery in this country in 30 years. They do not really want to expand refinery capacity because it would cut into their record-setting profits. The oil companies and their Republican friends in Congress want to use this tragedy to ram through their ideologically driven rollbacks of environmental laws that protect American families.
“We can do better.”