As gas prices continue to soar – “up 33 cents in two weeks and an increase of 78 cents from a year ago,” according to US News & World Report – it’s time for President Obama to explain to the American people why he spent the last two years blocking new American energy production, working to raise prices on families and small businesses, and making it harder to create new jobs.

The House Committee on Natural Resources has compiled a lengthy list of the Obama Administration’s efforts to freeze and derail new American energy production that would lower prices and create jobs. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • One of the Obama Administration’s first acts in February 2009 was to unilaterally cancel 77 leases offered for new energy production on tracts of land in Utah (it later backtracked slightly and allowed 17 of the 77 leases to go forward). That August, the Administration withdrew another 23,757 acres of land leased for energy production, and in March 2010 withdrew 61 leases in Montana and 4,400 acres in West Virginia, putting more energy under lock-and-key.
  • Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar “scrapp[ed] leases for oil-shale development on federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.” The Heritage Foundation says “[t]he amount of oil available through oil shale is staggering,” and that “800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale in the Green River Formation is three times greater than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.”
  • Having failed to pass it through the Democrat-run Senate, the Administration is using the EPA to impose its job-crushing national energy tax – the same one President Obama once admitted would cause electricity rates to “necessarily skyrocket.” The Heritage Foundation says “[a]nnual job losses exceed 800,000 for several years” under the EPA’s proposed regulations.
  • Interior Secretary Salazar imposed new red tape and regulatory hurdles to make leasing land and developing new oil and natural gas more difficult. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Salazar acknowledged that the new rules could add delays to the leasing and drilling process…”
  • The Obama Administration tried to unilaterally abandon the Yucca Mountain nuclear energy repository – a move that would jeopardize the future of emissions-free nuclear energy.
  • The EPA moved to block a coal mine in West Virginia – despite the fact that it already had a federal permit – threatening jobs across the region. The Washington Post said it was the first time the EPA had ever vetoed a project that already had a permit.
  • The Administration unilaterally shut down environmentally friendly offshore energy production “in the eastern Gulf of Mexico” and “off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts,” according to the Washington Post. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said the decision will result “in major lost job opportunities, surrendered economic growth, and increased dependence on foreign sources of energy…”

And that’s not even the half of it. Check out the full list here from the Natural Resources Committee.

The Washington Times argues that “President Obama has intentionally hamstrung domestic energy production” and taken “deliberate action to block access to the nation’s energy resources.” And the Washington Examiner says “the president has effectively shut down” the energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico – a “key factor in the recent increase in gas prices as well as continuing high levels of regional unemployment.”

Of course, opposition to American energy production is nothing new for Democrats.

Interior Secretary Salazar famously told the United States Senate that he wouldn’t support drilling for new energy even if gas prices reached $10 per gallon.

And Red State found an article quoting Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) opposing expanded production because the energy “would not be ready for use by consumers for up to 10 years.” The article was from April 2, 2001 – almost 10 years ago.

Republicans are working to stop the EPA from going around Congress and imposing President Obama’s job-destroying national energy tax. And the new House majority is committed to an all-of-the-above energy strategy that will expand American energy production and lower costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create a better environment for job growth.

READ MORE:
Chairmen Fred Upton & Ed Whitfield Introduce Energy Tax Prevention Act to Stop Job-Crushing EPA Regulations
(3/4/11)
With Threat of Energy Crisis Looming, Analysts Conclude that White House Polices Are Raising Costs, Jeopardizing Jobs
(3/3/11)
Rising Energy Prices Could “Mean Less Hiring & Higher Unemployment”
(3/1/11)
High Fuel Costs “Could Slow the Nation’s Already Sluggish Economic Growth”
(2/24/11)
Now at $100: Rising Oil Prices Fuel Skyrocketing Gas Costs, Economic Uncertainty
(2/23/11)