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Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. I thank the gentleman.
As I so often say when I come to the floor, in looking back 16 months, this country has been under the control of the Democrat-led Congress. What has those 16 months wrought? We have higher food prices, a recession now in the economy with which almost everyone agrees, even former Chairman Greenspan, housing prices basically in a free fall down and, of course, energy prices going through the roof.
You made a comment about gasoline prices being up to almost $4 a gallon by the summer. Of course, diesel fuel already, in my neck of the woods, the great State of New Jersey, is at $4 a gallon.
It amazes me each time I drive past the pump. I don't use diesel. Truckers most often do. Farming equipment on the farms do. Of course, I am amazed that people are still able to make a living.
But 16 months under a Democrat-controlled rule here in the House of Representatives, what has it wrought? We have higher food prices, a recession in the economy, free fall of the housing prices and energy prices through the roof, causing hardships for all Americans.
I come from the State of New Jersey. When I go home, I just went home for the weekend, and I talked to my friends and constituents back home. They are paying the price, at the pump, at the food store, everywhere, and it's creating a real hardship for the American family.
When the American family sits down each week and pays their bills, gets out their checkbook, and say how are we going to pay this month's mortgage payment, this month's rent payment, first they have to pay all of these other expenses.
At the end of the week, they realize the money is just not in the checkbook anymore. One of the root causes is the price of fuel. They are probably scratching their heads saying what is the Democrat-led majority in the House doing about it? Where is that plan that you were referring to that the Democrats campaigned on 18 months ago before they took over the majority? Where is that plan during these last 16 months now that they have been in the majority?
My constituents wait. You and I wait.
In the meantime, let's take a look at the facts. Democrats make all sorts of claims about the price of energy, about the price of gasoline prices. I would like to address just three or four of them.
First of all, one of the most frequent things, and you see hearings on this over and over, Democrats will say, well, it's because of America, it's because of those American oil companies that we have skyrocketing prices. Let's get into the facts a little bit about that, though. U.S. energy companies are not even in the top 10 when you look at total proven oil reserves and gas reserves in the entire world.
For example, ExxonMobil has less than 5 percent of the stock held by Saudi Aramco. A full 53 percent of the price we pay for gasoline when we go to the pump is related to the price of the crude oil that goes into it, a world commodity.
Can Democrats really accuse American oil companies of so influencing prices when they own such a marginally small amount of the total world supply? When we think about it, this is a part and parcel of the Democrat blame America first doctrine here too in energy.
Secondly, Democrats say that the U.S. needs to decrease demand for oil. We have to live more modestly, I guess, is what that really translates out to be.
It turns out the facts are this, in recent years U.S. American families' demand for oil and all its uses has actually begun to stabilize, and we have seen over a period of time an actual decrease in the amount of use. Meanwhile, world demand for oil has actually increased to 84 million barrels a year. That's an increase of 16 million barrels just over the last decade.
While we are willing and able and want to work with the other side of the aisle to come up with ways to conserve fuel, the facts point to the fact that we should not be blaming America first with regard to increased use of oil. But it's the rest of the world that is just increasing their consumption, which is a supply and demand factor.
Thirdly, Democrats are off to say that the Americans already have reliable access to energy supplies. Well, when we get into the facts, it refutes what the Democrats are saying.
The U.S., as a matter of fact, is the only, the only industrial Nation in the entire world that locks up 85 percent of its open available deep sea energy reserves. Let me repeat that number again, 85 percent of our reserves offshore and elsewhere are locked up. We can't get to them. You and I can't use them today, our children can't use them tomorrow, grandchildren in the future, they are locked up under their plan.
Even worse, we have not even built a new refinery in this country for the last 32 years. As a result of these factors, 63 percent of our energy supplies that we should be able to use right here in this country are obtained from foreign sources instead. The Democrat plan makes us even more reliant on foreign sources, those same foreign sources that are unreliable, unstable and oftentimes hostile to the United States as well.
Fourthly, Democrats claim that the Federal Government, the bureaucrats here in Washington, must micromanage, if you will, and regulate these American oil companies. Again, what are the facts. The facts are that in 2007, these very same American oil companies and themselves spent $183 billion in new investment. What does that do, that leads to the development of more efficient environmental fuels on the market.
Meanwhile, the Democrat majority has voted to raise taxes four separate times just during the 110th Congress. I began my remarks asking what has 16 months under Democrat control wrought when it comes to this country, well, one point there is four separate times taxes have gone up during this Congress. And where does that end up being paid from? Well, tomorrow is April 15, tax day, and we know who pays. It comes down not on the corporations and big business, it is comes down on the consumer.
So soaring prices are the result of supply and demand, and the best approach to energy efficiency and cost reduction is one that is market based. The worst approach is no plan whatsoever, which is what we have seen by the other side of the aisle, and a lack of a plan that engages in such rhetoric as blame America first, restrict the development of efficient energy resources that are American based, and the worst plan is to make the United States and the citizens of this country even more reliant on those unstable and hostile regimes.
I thank the gentleman for coming to the floor tonight and reminding all of America about the dilemma that we face going in, both in the short term with the family budget today and the future, and the great need we have to have a plan put in place and implemented. I look forward to working with you to achieve such.