In January 2009 -- the price of regular, unleaded gasoline averaged $1.79 per gallon nationwide. Today, American families and small businesses are paying $3.92 per gallon, and the costs are continuing to rise.
While Americans struggle to pay the price of higher energy costs, more tax dollars get wasted on failed energy policies, and more real energy jobs are lost -- I believe the President is misleading Americans about his energy policy. Last week, he blamed oil market speculators for the rising costs of gas and electricity.
The Administration's blame game is a tired act. Americans deserve better and deserve it now.
We deserve better than a failed, taxpayer-funded "green" energy plan. We deserve better than an energy plan that relies on the whims of some of the most volatile countries in the world. And we deserve better than an energy plan that delays and restricts domestic production.
In the trillion-dollar stimulus deal, the President directed our taxes to create alternative energy jobs. Promising to create five million green jobs over 10 years, he funneled our hard-earned tax dollars to now-bankrupt companies like Solyndra, Solar Trust of America, and Beacon Power. Obviously, that plan did not work.
The President's decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was another disaster that did not alleviate the pain at the pump. So was sending money to Brazil for offshore production. And so was pressuring OPEC countries to increase production.
In order to truly reduce energy costs, we must establish a responsible plan -- one that encourages more domestic exploration and extraction and gets our neighbors working again. By increasing American production, we can create good-paying jobs, help our economy recover, and increase government revenue.
If the President truly wanted to end speculation in the market and lower energy costs, he would do a number of things immediately. First, end the de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico and expedite the permitting process on the OCS and in deepwater. Second, open new areas of federal land for exploration and stop cancelling, delaying, and withdrawing lease sales. Third, approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Fourth, halt the threats of tax increases on oil and gas companies. And fifth, end the unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations on energy producers.
I did not come to Congress to get a job; I came to Congress to help create jobs. As such, I am committed to advancing these real solutions to our energy crisis. I hope the President joins me by ending the manipulation, regulation, and restriction and allowing us to utilize America's natural resources for increased domestic production.
Representative Jeff Landry
Congressman, 3rd District of Louisiana