Friday, February 17, 2012

IER on Rising Gas Prices

WASHINGTON D.C. -- With gasoline prices at record seasonal highs and the price of oil topping $120 a barrel, IER President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:

"By any measure, the current policies governing America's energy development have failed. The past three years have been marked by cancelled lease sales for the Outer Continental Shelf, moratorium on offshore drilling, the closing of millions of acres public lands for energy development, and the rise of regulatory regime that openly favors expensive, intermittent energy sources over proven, affordable ones -- all with taxpayer dollars.

"The evidence of these failed policies is obvious. For the second time in the last year, the price of gasoline has topped $3.50 per gallon nationally. The prices of goods we need everyday -- from the food we eat to the tires we put on our cars -- are skyrocketing. Meanwhile, government policy still prohibits robust development of the vast energy resources under our feet.

"Permitting activity for offshore production is all but dead. Deepwater permits have declined by 57 percent last year. Similarly, shallow water permits have dropped by 68 percent. And for those permits that are granted, the average approval time now takes 31 days longer than the historical average of 60.6 days.

"The President's FY2012 Budget, released this week, indicates the administration's intention to extend these policies. By further restricting leasing activity on the Outer Continental Shelf, by increasing energy taxes, and by spending hundreds of millions of dollars for more government land acquisition, the Obama administration has drafted a plan that intensifies our economic vulnerability and takes more money out of our pockets to fund his failed green energy schemes.

"The American people deserve policies that help them out of tough economic times. It's time to end President Obama's punitive energy agenda that retaliates against working families who depend on affordable energy to make it. The only solution is to reverse course, open up our lands to energy development, and stop the regulatory abuse that is driving up the price of fuels."