Speaker Pelosi delivered the Democratic Radio Address this morning. In her address, she discusses energy legislation the New Direction Congress has brought forward to combat rising energy and gas prices and to invest in renewable resources. Speaker Pelosi states, “during the past eight years, our energy policy has been directed by the two oil men in the White House. Their failed policy has increased our dependence on foreign oil, damaged our economy, and left consumers paying record prices at the pump…when it comes to energy, as my children would say, let's get real.”
Good morning. I'm Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
It is clear that America's national security and economic leadership demand that we end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. The current energy crisis demonstrates that we need a comprehensive strategy that utilizes our domestic supply, and encourages the promotion of clean, renewable fuels.
During the past eight years, our energy policy has been directed by the two oil men in the White House. Their failed policy has increased our dependence on foreign oil, damaged our economy, and left consumers paying record prices at the pump.
Republicans in Congress continue to follow the Bush-Cheney-McCain leadership. Over the past few months alone, Republicans have voted down our efforts to expand domestic drilling, opposed clean energy alternatives, and rejected requiring oil companies to produce from the public lands they already control. President Bush even refused our request to suspend buying oil at record prices for the federal stockpile until we passed a law, and the price fell by over $20 a barrel.
The Republican proposal — not surprisingly — is the same as Big Oil's: more public land and more tax breaks. It is time we revisited the relationship between American taxpayers and consumers who own the valuable oil reserves and Big Oil, who profit from them. A responsible domestic drilling program means an end to royalty holidays that deprive taxpayers of the royalties they deserve, an end to subsidies for profit-rich oil companies, and a requirement that Big Oil drill the oil leases they already own.
When it comes to energy, as my children would say, 'Let's get real.'
These are the facts:
The Republican 'drill only' plan would lower oil prices by only 2 cents a gallon over ten years. Even Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens says, 'This is one emergency we can't drill our way out of.'
Instead, releasing some oil from the government stockpile will reduce consumer prices in ten days, not ten years. This plan has strong bipartisan support.
Big Oil insists that despite record profits, the U.S. taxpayer must continue to subsidize their drilling. This must end.
And nearly 90 million acres of public land are already open for drilling, and a bipartisan majority of Congress supports telling Big Oil to 'use it or lose it' before getting more leases.
Senator Barack Obama and congressional Democrats support a comprehensive energy plan to invest in clean, renewable resources like wind, solar and biofuels, and promote greater efficiency and conservation. That is why last year we passed an energy bill with the first increase in auto mileage standards in over 30 years and sweeping new efficiency requirements. The provisions of this legislation were the equivalent of taking every car in America off the road for one year.
Much more needs to be done. In the coming weeks, Democrats in Congress will continue to take our country in a New Direction for our energy future. We hope our Republican colleagues will join in a bipartisan effort, not only to increase domestic supply, but also to help consumers and to protect the environment.
Our plan will reduce the price at the pump within 10 days by releasing oil from the 700 million barrel federal stockpile.
It will expand drilling in the Alaska oil reserve already designated for drilling.
It will consider opening portions of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling, with appropriate safeguards, and without taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil.
It will require Big Oil to pay the billions of dollars they owe in royalties to invest in clean energy resources.
It will create a federal Renewable Electricity Standard, cut mass transit costs for commuters, and address the role that undue and excessive speculation plays in driving up the cost of oil.
And it will increase the use of natural gas, which is abundant, clean, and cheap.
This comprehensive Democratic approach will ensure energy independence which is essential to our national security, will create millions of good paying jobs here at home in a new green economy, and will take major steps forward in addressing the global climate crisis.
America faces a choice: a continuation of the Bush-Cheney-McCain approach that perpetuates the failed policies that have produced soaring prices, or a comprehensive, bipartisan strategy that develops new and traditional sources of energy.
Let's work together to seize this critical moment and craft a new energy future of innovation and independence.
This is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Thanks for listening.