Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to this rule because my constituents in the State of Rhode Island can no longer wait for action to reduce the price of gas at the pump, and this bill does nothing at all to address this issue today.
Just last week the price of gasoline shot up to more than $4 and, as we all know, this is an increasingly familiar story for States all across this Nation, hurting families and small businesses. And it really underscores what I heard from my own constituents, hundreds of men, women, and families all throughout Rhode Island in recent weeks. We have got to find immediate solutions to lower the price of gas.
But the legislation before us this morning calling for domestic drilling will not provide the short-term relief that's needed right now. At the same time, it will make drilling more dangerous for our environment, for our economy, and for our national security.
My friends on the other side of the aisle have refused to take up the recommendations of the independent commission convened after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and instead, continue to fight to protect Big Oil and continue to fight to protect subsidies while the American people are struggling with higher gasoline prices.
We've got to find solutions to lower the cost of fuel now. We've got to find solutions and ways to end the $4 billion in tax breaks that pad the profits of Big Oil.
And the way to do that, Mr. Speaker, is to bring legislation already drafted, already introduced to the House floor for a vote immediately that would address the issue of the rising cost of gas. Legislation to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and legislation aimed at preventing Big Oil from engaging in price-gouging schemes which drive up the price of oil at the pump would go much further than anything that's in this bill and would help to ease the pain at the pump that American families are experiencing.
We need to do those two things. End the subsidies, and begin to address this urgent problem now. And stop taking measures that continue to advance the interests of Big Oil rather than the American people.