GOP accuses Obama of pushing up gas prices
Republicans say the Obama administration’s policies are contributing to skyrocketing gasoline prices – now at more than $4 per gallon throughout much of the country – and they have introduced legislation to reopen the nation’s coasts to drilling.
This year will be the first year since 1958 that the federal government will not have sold a lease for offshore drilling, and Republicans say this is fueling skyrocketing prices at the pump.
Congress opened the nation’s coasts to drilling when gas hit $4 per gallon in 2008, but the Obama administration effectively reinstated the ban last year by placing the Alaskan, Atlantic and Pacific coasts off-limits to drilling, as well as Florida’s west coast.
“We need to look at the actions of this administration, which are leading to more of a domestic shortage of energy production in this country – whether you are looking at the outer continental shelf or whether you are looking at offshore lease sales,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash.
The chairman told WND that comments made by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar make it seem the administration has a political agenda behind its unwillingness to expand domestic oil drilling.
More than 12,000 jobs in the oil drilling sector have been lost as a direct result of the drilling moratorium the Obama administration imposed last May in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Despite the administration’s announcement last October that it was lifting its drilling moratorium, little progress has been made in reopening the Gulf to drilling. Only 10 permits have been granted, while 40 projects remain stalled due to the administration’s inaction. And since July 2010 only 49 shallow-water permits have been issued at an average of 4.9 permits per month, which lags far behind the historical average of 7.1 permits per month.