Democrats’ solution to gas prices is a bill to raise them even higher?
“Senate Democrats and the White House are feeling the heat” from Republicans’ coordinated effort to hold them accountable for rising gas prices, says Roll Call, and “are preparing a legislative response”: tax hikes to make gasoline even more expensive for struggling families and small businesses.
“Details of the bill are still being decided,” but one thing is clear: it’d mean higher gas prices. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) studied the tax hike Senate Democrats voted for last year and found it would raise the price of energy for consumers and increase foreign dependence.
Why do Democrats want to impose tax hikes that would raise gas prices, which have already doubled under the Obama administration? “It’s a fairness issue,” says the White House. Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified to Congress that lowering gas prices is not an overall goal for the Obama administration.
But policies that promote higher gas prices aren’t “fair,” they’re outrageous.
Higher gas prices hurt families – at the pump and everywhere else, including the grocery store. Higher gas prices also hurt job growth: for example, “when energy prices increase,” American manufacturers “feel the burden and it negatively impacts their ability to grow, invest and create jobs.”
No wonder the president’s latest attempt to deflect blame from his anti-energy policies is “falling flat with voters upset about prices at the pump.” Democrats have spent years blocking Republicans’ “all of the above” strategy, restricting energy production, and lobbying against projects like the Keystone XL pipeline as gas prices have steadily risen. And now that prices are going up faster than ever, Democrats are plotting tax hikes (again) that even they admit would not address the problem (see here and here).
Fortunately, there’s still time for the White House to do the right thing, abandon this tax hike nonsense, and publicly call on Senate Democrats to act on several bipartisan House-passed energy bills. These bills are part of Republicans’ “all of the above” strategy, and will remove government barriers to energy production, stop policies that drive up gas prices, and help create new American jobs. Learn more about them by “Liking” the American Energy Initiative or visiting jobs.GOP.gov.
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REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH)
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Power Lines: Democrat Rhetoric vs. America’s Reality
Rhetoric: “The cost of everything, from gas to groceries is going up and up and up. These are the quiet storms that our families have been facing for months, if not years. These are the storms that will only get worse if we don’t act.” Then-candidate Barack Obama, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September, 2008.
Reality: The President’s policies have failed and are making the economy worse. Since President Obama took office, the average price of gas has doubled, going from $1.89 to $3.80. According to a recent USA Today article, electricity bills have also skyrocketed. Under the Obama administration, the average family income is down by more than $1,000, and the cost of eggs has increased by 30 percent, milk by 20 percent, fruit by 14 percent, and meat by 18 percent.
Rhetoric: “Looking ahead, I’m confident that we will be ready to begin the journey towards a new energy frontier on January 20th. This will be a leading priority of my presidency and a defining test of our time.” President-Elect Barack Obama, Chicago, IL, December, 2008.
Reality: As America’s families struggle to pay the price of a gallon of gas and high electricity bills, the only energy legacy that President Obama seems to be interested in is one that funnels hardworking taxpayer dollars to “green” energy firms run by his political allies, like Solyndra. Unfortunately, Solyndra, the solar power company that went bankrupt, received $535 million from the federal government through a stimulus loan guarantee program.
Rhetoric: “And because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled – and thousands of American jobs have been created as a consequence.” President Obama, University of Miami, Florida, February 23, 2012.
Reality: According to the Federal Energy Information Administration, the production of renewable energy – including biomass, wind, and solar – has increased only 12 percent between 2008 and 2011. Since the president took office, at least six “green” energy firms have lost almost one billion dollars of taxpayer funds and have gone bankrupt. Additionally, the administration has began a trend of coal-fired power plant closures, leading power producer GenOn announced last week it would shutter 13 percent of its generating capacity by 2015 due to new Obama administration environmental regulations.
Rhetoric: “But over the long term, an all-of-the-above energy strategy means we have to do more. It means we have to make some choices.” President Obama, Weekly Address, February 25, 2012.
Reality: Just last week, a White House aide confirmed that President Obama lobbied Senate Democrats to vote against the Keystone pipeline. If the president would allow the approval of the the Keystone XL Pipeline project to move forward, our domestic supply would increase by an estimated 302 million barrels of oil per year (830,000 barrels a day), $20 billion of private sector investment would be injected into the American economy, 20,000 direct jobs would be created, and $5 billion in taxes to local counties would be collected over the project’s lifetime.
Rhetoric: Senator Schumer (D-NY) asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month to urge Saudi Arabia to boost output.
Reality: Rather than approve the Keystone pipeline, Democrat’s want the U.S. to request that other nations increase their oil production for our use. As indicated by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), “An ‘all of the above’ energy strategy starts with signing off on Keystone and tapping into our own domestic resources, which the President could do with the simple stroke of a pen.”
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