Today, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the following statement after voting against two pieces of legislation that will expand offshore drilling in way that abandons environmental and safety precautions.
"While we should continue to allow offshore drilling in locations where it is already occurring, we need to ensure that we are strictly enforcing safety protocol and being mindful of the lessons we learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year.
"Both of the bills that I voted on today violated the basic premise that offshore drilling needs to be consistent with the increased safety and environmental requirements that were enacted to minimize the likelihood of another catastrophic oil spill.
"In the process of voting on these bills, the majority party also prevented us from voting on a bill that would expand advanced vehicle technology, critical research and development that would directly affect gas prices and that would ensure America continues to build the cars and trucks of the future.
"Last week, Congress was also thwarted in its attempt to eliminate subsidies for big oil and gas companies who are making profits while consumers pay more at the pump. I voted to eliminate these subsidies and am working on legislation to decrease the use of foreign sources of energy.
"America needs to overhaul its energy policy to reduce dependence on foreign sources of energy and reduce our exposure to market speculators who drive up gas prices.
"Washington state families and businesses are feeling the pain at the pump. We must end the cycle of rising gas prices hitting everyone, year in and year out. I am working with my colleagues and will continue to support efforts that expand our resources, move us off of foreign dependence, and put our energy future on stable footing."