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Boehner Column: Time for President Obama to Reverse Course on Gas Prices, Energy

American Government

Boehner Column: Time for President Obama to Reverse Course on Gas Prices, Energy

Congressman John Boehner
April 6, 2012

Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing House Republicans all of the above national energy strategy to address rising gas prices:

The average gallon of gas in Ohio is $3.80 more than double the price when President Obama came into office. Soaring energy costs are making it harder for families and small businesses to make ends meet, presenting our nations economy with yet another challenge as it struggles to get back on track. The president’s own policies to date have made matters worse and driven up gas prices.

The president says he wants to see lower prices at the pump. And he says he now supports all of the above the energy strategy Republicans have long championed that would remove government barriers to responsible American energy production across the board. We welcome this. But we need to see action, not just words.

The only real action the president has taken lately on energy came when he lobbied personally and successfully for members of the U.S. Senate to defeat legislation that would have given the green light to construction of the Keystone XL energy pipeline. This pipeline, which would allow more energy from our friends in Canada to flow to the United States, would reduce Americas vulnerability to the whims of hostile oil-rich states. It would also create thousands of new American jobs.

Over the past three years, President Obama has delayed, blocked, and restricted access to Americas energy resources, leading to a seven percent drop in federal energy production and no real options to address the energy crisis we face today. From an offshore drilling moratorium to a de facto one put in place through the permitting and leasing process, American energy and the jobs it creates have too often been pushed aside by the Obama administration and its allies in Washington.

And the administrations regulatory onslaught is having a direct impact here in Ohio. Most recently, GenOn Energy announced it will be closing plants in Avon Lake and Niles because of excessive government regulations. Reports indicate the company is unsure of how many, if any, of the jobs at those Ohio facilities it will be able to preserve. These job losses are a direct result of this administrations policies.

Republicans have offered a better approach – a true all of the above energy strategy – that will responsibly increase the supply of all American sources of energy to help address rising gas prices and create jobs. Weve passed a series of bipartisan bills to open the most promising areas off shore to exploration and production; reduce permitting delays; encourage oil shale development in the Rocky Mountain West; open a portion of the Arctic coastal plain; remove regulatory barriers to the development of renewable energy sources on federal lands; and require approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

These measures are now waiting for a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate. All the president has to do is ask the Democratic leadership in the Senate to bring them to a vote.

During a recent conversation with the president at the White House, I was encouraged by his willingness to discuss the possibility of taking action on some of these bipartisan energy proposals, which have also received support from the president’s own jobs council. In the weeks since that discussion, however, there has been no substantive follow-up by the administration.

If President Obama wants to show the people of Ohio that his support for an all of the above energy policy is more than just words, he will call on Senate Democrats today to stop blocking these common-sense House-passed bills and send them to his desk.

The president holds the key to addressing the pain Ohioans are feeling at the gas pump and moving our nation away from its reliance on foreign energy. My question for the president is: what are you waiting for

Boehner represents Ohios 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.


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