To protest the U. S. Congressional House Democrats going on recess without voting on a bill to relax oil drilling restrictions—while America suffers from high gas and energy prices—House Republicans once again took the floor Friday, August 22, 2008, to speak to thousands of Americans visiting the nation’s Capitol in an effort to encourage citizens to vote for American energy production.
House Republicans insist that they tried earnestly for months to get House Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vote on nonpartisan proposals that would allow them to lower gas and energy prices by drilling domestically for natural gas and oil, as well as proposals that would improve energy efficiency and alternative energy technologies, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), explained.
Since August 1, 2008, the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives has been on vacation, Rep. McCotter, the House Republican Policy Committee Chairman, commented. “We disagree,” McCotter proclaimed. “We believe Congress should be here dealing with gas and energy prices.”
“We have American ingenuity,” Rep. Thelma Drake (R-VA) said. “We have the ability as a congress to meet the needs of Americans right here in America.”
“Why should we put ourselves in a position where we can be shut down simply because we depend on foreign countries for natural reserves,” Rep. Drake noted. “Canada has been taking natural gas from Lake Erie for over 100 years. Natural gas is priced country by country, so I question, why can’t America do it?”
U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT-AL) pointed out that, “Thirty-three percent of all energy developed in this country is on federal property.” Rehberg then declared that, “Democrats would rather keep the prices high than vote on legislation. We can’t, the American people cannot become energy independent because we can’t get a piece of legislation through Congress.”
“Why can’t Republicans and Democrats get together to pass a bill for the good of the country?,” Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) asked. “We are $9 trillion dollars in debt.”
Further, Rep. McCotter reminded those present that gas prices hit a national high on June 10, 2008, when gas prices peaked at $4.40 a gallon. “Something has to be done,” he said.
Rep. McCotter explained that, at present, the outer coastal areas are restricted from exploration. However, he said that America has a lot of natural resources: far more than Nigeria, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.
“There is more shale oil in our three Western states than in any other part of the world,” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) said. “By drilling domestically, we drive gas and airline tickets down,” Culberson expounded. “It would increase energy supply significantly to drill domestically, and would also create thousands of jobs for American people.”
Shale oil can be extracted for use immediately, drilling proponents claim. Democrats opposed to offshore drilling allege that it would take oil companies at least a decade to coax oil from America’s coastline.
Irene Warren is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run jointly by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.