Pelosi on Gas Prices: ‘It’s the Economy, Mr. President’

July 15, 2008
Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders today held a news conference with economic experts following an economic forum this morning.  At the forum, five national economic experts endorsed Democrats' call for the President to immediately release a small amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce energy prices for American consumers.  Below are selected comments by the Speaker on energy:

“The President said today that he would not support the release of the oil from the SPR because it's there for other reasons.  Well, we are having a crisis in our country, an emergency.  Whether the President knows it or not, there is an emergency in our country.  He resisted withholding oil from going into the SPR.  A couple of months ago, we passed the bill unanimously in both Houses, veto-proof.

“The President said another thing this morning.  He said that by drilling offshore, it would not have an impact on the price at the pump; I'm glad that he's finally admitted that to the American people.  Our message back to the President is, ‘It's the economy, Mr. President.'

“It's about jobs and people not having them, and it's about their standard of living and purchasing power of their income going down because of the increase in the price of gasoline and groceries and health care and education, as others have mentioned.  It's about the fragility of our financial institutions, the downturn in our capital equity market, the downturn in the cost of the value of people's main equity investments, their homes.

“This economy needs the President's attention and he doesn't need to have any diversionary tactics.  It's about drilling offshore, but drilling isn't, by his own admission, going to have any effect for many years to come.  What did he say the other day?  ‘If we could only drill offshore, the economy would be better.'  That is a poor excuse from the President of the United States.”