Congressman Lamar Smith sharply criticized the Democratic Majority today for ignoring the American people's calls for an "all of the above" energy plan to help lower gas prices. Rather than allow a vote on such a bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi instead chose to introduce legislation that will permanently lock up 80 percent of the energy resources located off our shores.
"Two thirds of Americans favor an 'all of the above' energy plan that includes environmentally-safe drilling for American oil and gas off our coasts," said Smith. "Instead, in an effort to run out the clock before Congress adjourns, the Speaker wants to make our nation's vast oil and gas reserves off limits at a time when we need them to help reduce the price of fuel and our dangerous dependence on foreign oil."
Like most Americans, House Republicans and a number of Democrats favor an "all of the above" strategy to lower gas prices by increasing production of American energy, promoting more conservation and efficiency, and encouraging the use of alternative and renewable fuels.
Smith is an original cosponsor of the American Energy Act (H.R. 6566), which will accomplish that. An editorial in today's USA Today endorses more offshore drilling as a first step in an "all of the above" approach to reduce prices at the pump - exactly the approach House Republicans have called for all year.
With less than three weeks left in the 110th Congress, Speaker Pelosi refuses to allow a vote on the plan.
"The Democratic Leadership fears bringing the American Energy Act up for a vote because they know that the American people favor it, Republicans favor it, and members of their own party do too. The Democratic Majority is on the wrong side of the energy issue and rather than face up to it, they're choosing to avoid it all together."