MR. CAVUTO: Democrat Bill Pascrell says it won't solve the energy mess one bit. He's a New Jersey congressman.
So Congressman, you're not buying it?
REP. PASCRELL: Neil, how are you?
MR. CAVUTO: Fine, sir.
REP. PASCRELL: No, I'm certainly not buying it. The anthem of drill, drill, drill, we don't even deal with the capacities that we have now. There are 68 million acres, they haven't developed them, the oil industry.
MR. CAVUTO: Where are those acres? I keep hearing that. Where are those acres?
REP. PASCRELL: They're all over the place. This is federal land. But you know, interestingly, your last guest did not mention the fact that over 20 years ago, we had over 300 refineries, now we only have 149. The question is not supply and demand. Look at the supply-and-demand numbers from last year, Neil. The question is speculation. The question is profits where money is not being put back into the system of developing alternative fuels. This is a very serious problem we need to address. I'm not saying we should tax our way out of this situation whatsoever. We should be defining what the alternative fuels are that we wish to develop and providing tax credits to do that.
MR. CAVUTO: Well, can we do it all, though, Congressman? That's one of the arguments I raise is look for those alternative fuels, look for more oil here. A lot of the land that you referred to that these energy companies lease, they've looked at. And they usually buy and rent this land in large tracts under the hope that someday they will discover oil there. The oil possibilities, they argue, are minimal. Whereas in ANWR and some of these other spots, it is much more substantial. They want that. They argue people like you are stopping them from that. What do you say?
REP. PASCRELL: Well, the fact is that if we developed ANWR even two years ago, we'd still have to wait another six years for one type of oil.
MR. CAVUTO: So what? So what? You're very good on the markets, though, Congressman. You're very astute, right? You know that if you now know that there's going to be supply coming down the pipe, the markets could respond to that sooner rather than later, right?
REP. PASCRELL: No, this is just like holding hands with Crown Prince Abdullah. This isn't going to hack it. That dog doesn't hunt anymore, Neil. I'm telling you right now, this is not simply a question of drilling more. We do have supply. It meets the demand. Americans are now going to start using mass transportation. I'm hoping that that's up and ready to deal with those people who can't afford --
MR. CAVUTO: Why can't you do all that? Now, you haven't specifically said this, Congressman, but many in your party have argued, you know, they're ticked off at the Saudis for not opening the spigot more. But they won't allow us to do the same here. Hypocritical, no?
REP. PASCRELL: I'm not mad at the Saudis or the Crown Prince for not opening up. I'm angry with them for talking out of both sides of their mouths and us having homeland security problems with depending on that part of the world which is very volatile. That's what I'm ticked off at them about. And we played at their game, Neil. You've said it before. I'll say it in a different way, that's not going to be the solution. We need alternative fuels. We need to get with the hybrid cars.
MR. CAVUTO: Amen! We need alternative fuels. We need to look for oil here. We need to conserve. We need to do all the five things you've mentioned in the past, Congressman. But this cherry-picking or this ala carte approach to it doesn't work, right? I mean, why can't you explore these alternatives and say, jump ball, have at it, here we go?
REP. PASCRELL: Let me ask you a question, Neil. Do you think that a company in a free-market society should be able to make as much as they want without putting back something into investments? I mean, even Exxon had a two-page ad yesterday in The New York Times Magazine section about dealing with hybrid cars. I mean, they see the handwriting on the wall.
MR. CAVUTO: Then let the markets decide that, Congressman. If they're too stupid to see the long-term implications of being selfish, they're going to die on the vine. Conversely -- conversely -- if they look at these expensive prices now and they reason, as you do, that the price of oil can only go up, it is in quite their selfish capitalist interest to pursue looking for oil alternatives, including other oil here, right?
REP. PASCRELL: I think we can drive the price down, Neil. I think you and I can do that, and the American people can do this. Once we see that there are alternative means of going to work --
MR. CAVUTO: But you're not for a windfall profit tax.
REP. PASCRELL: I wouldn't say -- unless the money was used and put back into developing alternative fuel.
MR. CAVUTO: But didn't Jimmy Carter try that, Congressman? That didn't work out so well.
REP. PASCRELL: Well, you know, Jimmy Carter tried a lot of things that didn't work out. But the point of the matter is --
MR. CAVUTO: But that was one of the biggest, right, the windfall profits tax?
REP. PASCRELL: Well, I would say that that was one of them. Everything should be on the table.
MR. CAVUTO: Yeah, but we're revisiting what didn't work, right, Congressman?
REP. PASCRELL: Look, look, we look to alternatives, and we look to see what's workable. I'm one, for instance, having nothing to do with this topic, to look at nuclear energy and if we can develop it safely. There's nothing wrong with that. We need to put everything on the table. No, the oil companies' answer to this is simply drill, drill, drill. And I'm saying my position is, Neil, that's not going to bring down the cost at the gasoline pump. Let's look at alternatives. Let's look at mass transportation. Let's conserve. And by the way, they said we couldn't pass CAFE standards. It took us 15 years. We got it up, though, didn't we?
MR. CAVUTO: But you will include drilling as among the options you look at, right?
REP. PASCRELL: I think it's one of the ones. We have to look at everything. Put it all on the table, Neil.
MR. CAVUTO: All right. Always fun having you, Congressman.
REP. PASCRELL: Neil, it's a pleasure.
MR. CAVUTO: Thanks for stopping by.