Release Date: Feb 23, 2012Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute Comments on President Obama’s Energy Speech
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks on energy delivered at the University of Miami today:
“As the President said, there is no silver bullet that will decrease gas prices and improve our energy security. However, there are a series of significant steps that this President could take that would lead us to a more secure energy and economic future, but this Administration has rejected that path.
“Today’s speech contained two fundamental mischaracterizations. The first is the notion that raising taxes on oil companies is going to lower gas prices. It won’t, and we know it won’t because it has been tried before. The result was higher prices and more imports.
“The second is that this Administration is somehow responsible for the uptick we’ve seen recently in domestic production. It’s not. Because of the restrictions this Administration has placed on accessing public land, as well as the ever-increasing amount of red tape, the energy industry has moved to produce oil and gas on private lands. Also, credit is due to policy decisions made years ago in previous Administrations. The fact that the administration would repeatedly try to take credit for this shows a troubling lack of understanding of energy production in this country.
“The results of the President’s ‘just say no’ energy policy will be felt in the years to come. The facts speak for themselves. President Obama’s administration has issued 50.7 percent fewer annual leases on public lands than President Clinton’s did. Gulf of Mexico energy production is down 16 percent since 2009 and is projected to decrease even further in 2012. President Obama denied the Keystone XL pipeline permit, which would have created thousands of jobs and provided all Americans with a steady supply of oil from a friendly ally. He also has banned new offshore areas from oil and gas exploration, and recently his Administration took one million acres of onshore land rich with oil shale off the table.
“The American people can see that the current approach is not working. But we cannot have a constructive conversation about energy policy as long as this Administration fails to put forward any new ideas, relying instead on four year old campaign rhetoric. It isn’t enough just to be for an ‘all of the above’ energy policy in a speech. It’s time to actually propose one.”