Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gerry Connolly Goes After GOP For Supporting Big Oil Instead of Sound Energy Policy

Rep. Gerry Connolly took to the Floor of the House of Representatives earlier today to talk about gas prices, renewable energy, efficiency, and energy independence. One of the main things that Gerry highlighted was his a proposed amendment to H.R. 1230 – a reckless bill that is slated for floor action on Thursday and is sponsored by Doc Hastings (R-WA) entitled Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act.

I’ve always been amazed about how the GOP loves to publicly speak out against high gas prices, but refuse to do anything about the HUGE tax payer subsidies that go to the oil companies. If we’re going to be giving subsidies at a time when we’re trying to reduce our deficits, you would think the American people would get some sort of a break at the pump. Anyone who has driven by a gas station recently, however, realizes this isn’t the case even though the GOP continues to remain loyal to the oil companies and their profits.

That is why I’m glad to see that Connolly is highlighting that hypocrisy by proposing an amendment that would strike the language in the bill that short-circuits safety rules for offshore oil exploration and replace it with language that would eliminate $37 billion in tax loopholes for Big Oil. Instead of allowing Big Oil to bring in huge profits (Exxon Mobil had 5.6 billion in profits last quarter), the amendment would divide that sum equally among licensed drivers in the U.S so they could get the break at the pump that they deserve. It’s estimated that each driver would get approximately $185, for an effective reduction on gas prices for individuals of approximately 27 cents per gallon.

From what I’m hearing, the Republicans will probably reject the amendment, but it serves to highlight the facts that they are doing nothing to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and playing politics with gas prices.

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