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Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill before us.
Today we're debating a bill that Republicans tell us will embrace an all-of-the-above energy strategy. The way this bill purports to do this is by opening large swaths of land to oil and gas drilling, halting regulations, and gutting the Clean Air Act. It's clear that this is not a true effort to develop an all-of-the-above strategy, but instead is a narrow-minded approach to oil and gas development at any cost.
Republicans continue to criticize President Obama and congressional Democrats for opposing efforts to increase U.S. domestic oil production, but the facts disprove this notion. The President hasn't agreed with every proposal to expand oil and gas drilling in the United States and its territorial waters, but he has taken action to open up substantial new public lands and coastal waters to oil and gas development.
Today, roughly 75 percent of U.S. oil reserves on public lands and under our coastal waters have been leased out to oil drillers. In fact, domestic oil production is at an 8-year high, and the production of natural gas plant liquids--liquefied petroleum gases that are used for fuel--is currently at an all-time high of more than 2 million barrels per day. All told, the U.S. Energy Information Agency estimates that U.S. petroleum production in 2012 will average more than 8 million barrels per day.
The number of oil rigs in the United States has quadrupled under President Obama. At the same time, petroleum consumption in the United States has dropped by more than 2 million barrels per day since its all-time peak in 2006. Now, since domestic oil production is up and petroleum consumption is down, U.S. oil imports are at a 17-year low. In fact, the United States is importing 10 percent less oil than it was 8 years ago.
Now, one might reasonably conclude that since the United States is producing more oil and consuming less, oil and gas prices would be going down, but that's not happening. Oil and gas prices are going up. Well, how can that be? Oil prices--and consequently gas prices--are rising because, while oil consumption may be lower in the United States, global demand for oil is, in fact, rising.
Rest assured, this bill does nothing to address the real problem of high gas prices, and it does nothing to develop a real all-of-the-above energy strategy for the United States. This bill is going nowhere in the Senate, and it's a true disappointment as this Congress' effort to address high gas prices and an expanded energy portfolio.
I urge my colleagues to reject this bill.
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