Senate Democrats

Republicans Falsely Claim Their Offshore Drilling Plan Is The Best Way to Lower Gas Prices, So Why Are They Saying No to a Vote on Their Drilling Proposal?

Bush-McCain Republicans have time and again touted their plan to expand offshore drilling “in order to lower gas prices”, despite the fact that the Bush Administration’s own Energy Information Administration says that any impact on prices will be insignificant. Senator McConnell said opening the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling would be “a huge step forward.” But now, when given the chance to vote on their proposal which they have been touting for weeks along with a Democratic alternative, they are backing away. If they say no, it reveals how disingenuous their claims to want to do something about gas prices have been and shows that they are putting politics ahead of policy. Democrats hope that for once, Bush-McCain Republicans will take yes for an answer and instead work with Democrats on solutions to bring down the price of gasoline.

Republican Senators have urged expansion of offshore drilling in order to lower gas prices:

Senator McCain Said It Is Time for the Federal Government to Lift Restrictions on Drilling in the United States So that We Can Tap the 21 Billion Barrels of Domestic Oil Reserves. “We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use.” [CNN, 06/17/08]

Senator McConnell Said Opening the Outer Continental Shelf to Drilling Would Be a Huge Step Forward. “It would be a huge step forward to open up the Outer Continental Shelf. Right now, 85 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf has an off-limits sign on it, 100 percent of the oil shale has an off-limits sign on it. Stuart, it would be a big step in the right direction to take the off-limits signs down and to let us get at these enormous supplies that we have.” [Fox News Transcript, 6/26/08]

Senator McConnell Urged Congress to Open Portions of the Outer Continental Shelf Where States Are In Favor of It. “It’s time to do something meaningful that would actually change the equation. And on the production side, two good places to start would be building refineries and opening up portions of the outer continental shelf where you have states that are actually in favor of it, and Congress won’t let that happen.”  [Statement of Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican News Conference, 4/29/08]

Senator McConnell Said Republicans Believe the Solution to High Gas Prices, in Part, Is to Increase American Oil and Gas Production.  “Republicans, by and large, believe that the solution to this problem, in part, is certainly to increase production. And we had a chance to vote on that out on the Senate floor.It’s time to increase American production, which benefits this country here by creating new American jobs and helps deal with the problem of supply and demand.” [Statement of Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican News Conference, 5/13/08]

Senator Alexander Said We Should Start Today to Expand Oil Production in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska in Order to Bring Down Gas Prices.  “We could expand production in the Gulf of Mexico. We could expand production in Alaska, and that would produce twice as much oil as Texas produces.  So when prices are high, producing more oil is an option for lowering gas prices, and we can do that, and we should start today.” [Statement of Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican News Conference, 4/29/08]

Senator Alexander Suggested U.S. Should Bring Down Gas Prices By Finding More Oil Offshore and Allowing More Oil Shale Production. “We would propose that the United States lower gas prices by finding more oil, as well as using less oil. And to find more oil, we suggest offshore exploration, which would add a million barrels a day, and lifting the moratorium from oil shale, which could add 2 million barrels a day.” [Senator Alexander, Republican Press Conference, 6/24/08]

Senator Hutchison Said The Only Thing That Would Bring the Price of Oil Down Is to Expand Supply. “There’s only one thing that is going to bring the price of oil down. It’s only — there is only one thing that is going to curb the speculators from running up prices by betting that oil prices are going up, and that is to expand supply.” [Senator Hutchison, Republican Press Conference, 7/15/08]

Senator Hutchison Said Republican Proposals to Drill in ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf and Produce from Oil Shale Would Tap More Reserves Than the Middle East. “Let me just say that what we really must do if we are going to become independent, rely on ourselves, solve this problem and bring prices down, we have to have a myriad of proposals, including drilling in ANWR, drilling off the coasts on the outer continental shelf and the oil shale, which is – – all of those have more reserves than all of the oil in the Middle East.” [Fox News Transcript, 6/15/08]

Senator Cornyn Said It Is Up to Congress to Respond to Public Opinion and Expand Domestic Production to Give People Relief at the Pump. “And estimates are that there’s at least 3 million additional barrels of oil today that could be produced from American sources. And that would be 3 million less that we’d have to — have to import from abroad.  As the price continues to go up, public opinion continues to change in favor of accessing America’s domestic resources. And now it’s up to Congress to respond to that public opinion in a way that gives the American people some relief.” [Statement of Senator John Cornyn, Republican News Conference, 7/8/08]

Senator Bond Urged Congress to Move Forward on Drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf and Explore for Oil Shale. “Let’s move forward, leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf, where there’s a chance to get gas, exploring for the oil shale in the Rocky Mountains, where we have three to seven times the reserves of Saudi Arabia. We will produce oil and gas in a more environmentally friendly way than is required by any other country in the world.” [Senator Bond Statement, Republican Press Conference, 7/22/08]