Today, House Republicans will take action on two American Energy Initiative bills that would address soaring gas prices and create jobs by rolling back the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium on American energy. Democrats, on the other hand, are offering no viable solutions to bring down energy prices. Instead, they have fallen back on the same “rhetorical playbook” they’ve used in the past to distract from their failed energy policies. Here’s a look inside the Democratic playbook:
- DODGE: Calling for “Investigations” That Do Nothing and Lead Nowhere. As CNN reported yesterday, when it comes to rising gas prices, the Obama Administration is reverting to the “rhetorical playbook” of administrations past: “Make noise and talk tough about price gouging, then direct his attorney general to launch an investigation. Immediately.” But according to experts, “price-gouging investigations don’t lead anywhere and…politicians know it. ‘That's just camouflage,’ said Amy Myers Jaffe, director of the Energy Forum at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston. ‘That’s just ‘I want to pretend I’m doing something even, though I'm doing nothing,’ she said.”
- DEFLECT: Raising Taxes on American Energy Producers. At a time when gas prices are at all-time highs across the U.S., Democrats are calling for tax hikes on energy producers that would drive the price of gas up even further. According to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, Democrats’ proposed energy tax hikes “would make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers and likely increase foreign dependence.” Even members of President Obama’s own party agree, with one Democrat Senator acknowledging that tax hikes on energy companies will “cut jobs and increase our dependency on foreign oil,” and another former Democratic lawmaker warning that “we won’t achieve energy security by restricting our own companies from drilling or singling them out for punitive taxes.”
- DISTRACT: Recycling the Already-Debunked “Use It or Lose It” Hoax. Recently, Democrats recycled their so-called “use it or lose it” argument that has already been debunked as nothing more than a hoax. The so-called “use it or lose” policy is already the law of the land, ignores the reality of energy production, and has met with bipartisan opposition in the past.
- DELAY: Withholding Permits to Hamper U.S. Energy Production. According to the House Natural Resources Committee, “Prior to the Administration’s moratorium issued on May 27, 2010, there were 52 permits to drill issued for projects in the Gulf of Mexico, 33 of which were actively conducting work. Despite the moratorium being officially lifted in October 2010, the Obama Administration has issued permits for only 11 of those projects to get back to work. The Administration has issued only 1 permit for a new deepwater drilling exploration plan. This means that 10 months later, over 40 projects remain stalled, and people are left without work, due to the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium.”
- DENY: Hiding Behind Misleading Facts to Obscure Steep Drop in U.S. Energy Production. Earlier this year, President Obama denied that his policies were hampering U.S. energy production, boasting that domestic oil production increased to its highest level since 2003 on his watch. However, according to Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler, the recent increase in oil production “has little to do with administration policies,” and is due to investments that were made by energy companies before President Obama took office. In fact, as Kessler further notes, “the Energy Information Administration issued a new forecast three days before the president’s comments, saying that domestic crude oil production would decline by 110,000 barrels a day this year and a further 130,000 barrels in 2012. The EIA cited some production declines in Alaska, but also said that production in the Gulf of Mexico — where Obama imposed a drilling moratorium until October in the wake of the BP Deepwater spill — would fall by 240,000 barrels a day in 2011 and 200,000 additional barrels a day in 2012.”
With the American Energy Initiative, Republicans are following a much different – and much more effective - playbook: stop anti-energy policies that are driving up gas prices and costing jobs. By week’s end, the House will have taken action on three bills that will unlock America’s energy resources by ending the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium on U.S. energy – and that’s just a beginning. Under the American Energy Initiative, the new House majority will continue working to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices and boost American energy production to help create jobs. Follow our progress by “liking” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook at: http://facebook.com/americanenergy.