With gas prices rising, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) and House GOP leaders were joined by Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) at a press conference today to announce the American Energy Initiative. The American Energy Initiative will be an ongoing effort on the part of the new House majority to stop Washington policies that are driving up gas prices and expand American energy production to help lower costs and create jobs. The initiative follows up on Republicans' Pledge to America commitment to "increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national "cap and trade' energy tax."
Following are Congressman Boehner's prepared remarks for today's press conference:
"Rising gas prices are a major burden for American families and small businesses. As gas prices go up, so does the cost of everyday life. It costs more to drive to work, to buy groceries, or just to get the kids to school. And at a time when our economy already isn't creating enough jobs, rising gas prices hurt the very people we need to lead us out of our economic crisis: small businesses.
"Just as with jobs, the American people recognize that Washington has been a big part of the problem when it comes to the price of energy. The Obama Administration has consistently blocked American energy production that would lower costs and create new jobs. They've cancelled leases for new exploration, jeopardized new nuclear energy, and imposed a de facto drilling moratorium. They've even pushed a "cap and trade' national energy tax that the president himself admitted would cause energy costs to "skyrocket."
"Well, the average price for a gallon of gas is on its way to $4. If the White House has its way -- and the EPA imposes a backdoor national energy tax -- gas prices will only go higher. Republicans have a plan to help lower gas prices and create new jobs -- and in the coming weeks and months, we'll be taking action on that plan. I'm calling it our American Energy Initiative.
"The American Energy Initiative is rooted in our Pledge to America. In the Pledge, we said we would help end some of the uncertainty facing small businesses so they can begin hiring again. And we said "we will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national "cap and trade' energy tax.' That's exactly what we're going to do. Under the American Energy Initiative, we will work to:
* Stop government policies that are driving up gas prices;
* Expand American energy production to lower costs & create more jobs; and
* Promote an "all of the above' strategy to increase all forms of American energy.
"We will also work with governors and state officials to identify ways we can help them increase energy production and create jobs. These are common-sense policies that the American people strongly support. The American Energy Initiative will be a sustained, ongoing effort by House Republicans in the weeks and months ahead.
"Our committees are fully engaged. Americans don't want knee-jerk reactions; they want solutions. Through the American Energy Initiative will work to help lower gas prices, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create new jobs. We made a pledge to the American people to tackle this problem -- and we're going to keep that pledge."