National Commentary

Congressman Jim Moran’s News Commentary

A number of efforts to address the high cost of energy have failed on the House floor in recent weeks. While those that voted against the legislation claim to be for lower prices at the pump, it remains to be seen why they have taken positions that would prevent Congress from taking proactive steps to mitigate the pain at the pump.

The following are seven questions the American public deserves an answer to:

1. 13 major proposals that would increase supply, reduce prices, protect consumers and transition America to a clean, renewable energy-independent future have been brought to the House floor in recent months. Each time a majority of the minority party has voted against these proposals. How can these members claim to want to help consumers and businesses when they oppose these policies?

2. Releasing a small amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has proven in the past to be a critical way to reduce energy prices in the short term used in 1991, 2000 and 2005. Why not support efforts to free a small amount of the taxpayer-funded government stockpile to influence the price of the pump within days?

3. Exxon Mobil announced the highest ever quarterly profit by a U.S. corporation in history last week. With Exxon Mobil making $1,500 a second, how can some lawmakers continue to block efforts to repeal tax subsidies to Big Oil?

4. According to the Bush Administration’s own Energy Department if we repealed the offshore drilling ban today, oil and gas production would not begin there until 2017, and the impact on prices before 2030 would be “insignificant.” Why do certain lawmakers keep calling for an action that they know won’t solve today’s energy problems?

5. Why do Members of Congress who claim to be for an “all of the above,” energy plan oppose efforts to protect consumers like price gouging and holding OPEC accountable for price fixing?

6. Our dependence on foreign oil escalated during the past 12 years. Why didn’t the party in power in Congress at that time do something about America’s energy independence to ensure we wouldn’t reach the energy crisis we’re in now?

7. House Democrats support a Renewable Electricity Standard to transition electricity sources to renewable energy but why do House Republicans continue to block its passage?