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Pelosi to Boehner: Yesterday's Solutions to Today's Problems Will Not Achieve Energy Independence

Washington, D.C. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent the following letter to House Republican Leader John Boehner today in response to a letter sent yesterday from the House GOP leadership.

Below is a text of the letter:

August 5, 2008

The Honorable John A. Boehner
House Republican Leader
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Leader Boehner:

Thank you for your letter from the House GOP leadership yesterday on gas prices.

America uses nearly a quarter of the world's oil, but sits atop less than 3 percent of the world's reserves. According to the Bush Administration's own Energy Department, if we repealed the offshore drilling ban today, oil and gas production would not begin there until 2017, and impact on prices before 2030 would be “insignificant.” We cannot drill our way out of this problem.

The facts are clear. The New Direction Congress has repeatedly brought forth proposals to increase domestic supply, reduce the price at the pump, protect American consumers and businesses and promote renewable energy and conservation. To date, Democrats have brought forward 13 major initiatives to accomplish the above goals and each time a majority of House Republicans have voted against these proposals.

One of these proposals would codify Democrats' call for releasing a small portion of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Releasing a small amount from the government stockpile is a positive short-term step that would provide immediate impact on the price at the pump and ease the pain American families and businesses are feeling every day.

The SPR has been tapped or suspended before by President Bush, President Clinton, and the first President Bush, and each time the impact on prices has been dramatic and immediate. In 1991, oil prices immediately dropped by 33 percent. The 2000 exchange drove oil prices down by 19 percent. And the release by President Bush in 2005 resulted in a 9 percent drop.

While a very small band of your colleagues remain on the House floor to discuss gas prices, their constituents deserve to know why their representatives in Congress have failed to support serious, responsible proposals. These proposals would increase supply, reduce prices, protect consumers, and transition America to a clean, renewable energy independent future. Americans deserve real solutions, not rhetoric. Using yesterday's solutions to today's problems will not allow us to achieve energy independence.

Again, thank you for your letter, and I look forward to working together on behalf of America's working families.

best regards,

NANCY PELOSI

Speaker of the House

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