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Mrs. CAPPS. Madam Chair, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 1231, the last and most egregious bill in the Republicans' oil addiction agenda.
It's unconscionable that we're voting today to expand offshore drilling even before stronger safeguards can be put in place, to mandate new leasing off the economically important coastlines of southern California, Alaska, and the entire eastern seaboard, each time these waters are open to drilling.
And it's cynical to claim that more drilling will relieve high gas prices. More drilling only means more profits for the oil industry, not lower costs at the pump.
We all know oil companies hardly need a boost right now. They're receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and reaping record profits.
On top of that, the oil industry is already drilling more than ever before. For example, offshore production has increased by more than a third in the last 2 years, and the gulf produced 1.6 million barrels of oil per day last year, an all-time record. Yet, despite all that drilling, gas prices continue to soar, and the reason is clear: More drilling here in the U.S. has little effect on the global oil market.
Nearly three-quarters of the world's proven oil resources are owned by OPEC nations. And even if we expanded offshore drilling significantly, we wouldn't see an impact on gas prices until 2030; and even then, it would be a matter of just 5 cents a gallon. This is according to the Energy Information Administration.
If, instead, we further raised fuel efficiency standards, we could lower driver bills at the pump. Building cars that go further on a gallon of gas is the best way to protect American families. It also creates jobs. It slashes our oil imports, and it reduces dangerous air pollution. This is the kind of solution we need right now.
We shouldn't be promoting reckless drilling that will fail to lower gas prices and endanger our coastlines. Vote ``no'' on H.R. 1231.
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