As American families are confronted with soaring gas prices, Energy and Commerce Committee leaders will commence a tour of the Gulf region on Wednesday to showcase the critical role the Gulf of Mexico plays in our nation's energy future. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) will join committee member Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is hosting the 2011 Offshore Energy Tour in New Orleans and South Louisiana May 18 -- May 20.
The Energy and Commerce Committee has taken aggressive actions to fight rising energy costs, and is working on legislation to remove the roadblocks to reliable energy, maximize all of our resources to keep costs down, provide for high-paying American jobs, and fortify our energy security. Reps. Gene Green (D-TX), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS) will also participate in the tour.
"The 2011 Offshore Energy Tour will be an excellent opportunity to highlight the need to lower gas prices at the pump by promoting safe energy production here at home," said Scalise. "Gas prices have more than doubled since President Obama took office, and it is clear that his failed policies have contributed to these higher prices while also running thousands of good jobs out of our country. We can strengthen America's energy security by unlocking our resources here at home in order to decrease our dependence on Middle Eastern oil while creating thousands more American jobs and bringing billions of dollars back to America to pay down our debt. American families know that we cannot achieve energy security by killing energy jobs and handcuffing American energy producers, and this tour will allow Members of Congress from around the country to get a first-hand view of the technology and innovation involved in exploring for energy safely in the deep water."
"We cannot tolerate the Obama administration policies that lock away critical resources, cause prices to soar, and make us more reliant upon Middle East oil," said Upton. "The public demands a visionary approach that maximizes all of our resources and embraces American-made energy. Continued production and offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico is especially critical to meeting our nation's growing energy needs and keeping prices low for families."
"America must responsibly develop our own natural resources to address the very serious energy challenges we face," said Whitfield. "As part of an "all of the above' strategy that includes nuclear and coal, responsible offshore development of oil and gas reserves can create much needed, well-paying jobs at a time when our unemployment rate still remains high. Further, domestic development would help reduce our dependence on unstable foreign sources of oil. These briefings will allow my colleagues and me to meet with the people who would be a part of this domestic development and hear about what we in Congress can do to keep this area open for responsible development and keep prices affordable."