U.S. Sen. David Vitter issued the following statement in reaction to news reports that White House officials are urging Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production to ease Americans' fuel costs.
"I believe that Sec. Chu's statements are a real breakthrough in our current energy debate: we all finally agree that increasing supply is at the heart of solving our energy problem. Unfortunately, Sec. Chu and the administration seem to want create jobs in Saudi Arabia by asking them to increase their oil production, instead of creating good energy sector jobs here at home.
"Of course, I believe we should increase our supply right here at home by unshackling our domestic energy-producing economy, specifically in the Gulf of Mexico. Yet the Interior Department is still foot-dragging on permits while our Energy Department is actively seeking to make us more dependent on foreign sources of energy."
A report about drawing from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve noted the following:
But Energy Secretary Steven Chu has thus far ruled it out, saying increased production in Saudi Arabia would lower the price of crude and ease the strain at the gas station.
"That's going to mitigate the price increase," he told reporters Wednesday. "We're hoping market forces will take care of this."
Vitter is working with Senate colleagues on an energy proposal that would open up America's energy economy. He contends it would create more jobs than any "job creation" proposal that Congress has voted on over the last two years.
Last Congress, Vitter introduced a similar energy bill, the No Cost Stimulus, which sought to create private sector jobs in energy-related fields without spending federal dollars like the Obama Stimulus.