In response to comments made by President George Bush this morning on the energy and environmental crisis facing the nation, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, released the following statement:
"With millions of families hurting at the pump, President Bush continues to tell the American people to put their trust in Big Oil and hope things get better decades from now. He refuses to use the 700 million barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve that could immediately help consumers, yet continues to sell the oil companies' drilling proposal as if he worked in their PR department.
"The Bush administration's own energy experts say that if Congress allowed drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines today, we could not produce a single drop of oil or gas there for at least 10 years, and we would not reach peak production until 2030. And even then, the additional production would have no significant impact on prices. Despite these facts, the President continues to try to fool the American public into believing that drilling in these areas will magically drive down prices at the pump this summer. This is a complete and total fraud.
"While continuing his crusade to help Big Oil exploit America's beaches and pristine coastlines for offshore drilling, the president still has yet to answer why oil companies are not drilling now on the 68 million acres of land on which they currently have access. Bush continues to threaten a veto of any renewable energy legislation that will provide domestic energy for every American faster and cheaper than his beach-side drilling schemes.
"This summer, Democrats in Congress have pushed an immediate energy relief package that includes releasing millions of barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve and cracking down on rampant oil market speculators. We will continue to push for long-term renewable solutions and immediate gas price relief ."