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After months of struggling at the gas pump, the voices of frustrated Americans are finally being heard. Since Friday, conservative legislators in the US House remained on the floor to protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s adjournment for a five week vacation without first voting on a bill that would increase domestic energy supply and lower gas prices. Led by Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), a total of 48 lawmakers took turns speaking after Speaker Nancy Pelosi closed the Congress.
According to the Minerals Management Service and the Bureau of Land Management, America’s costal waters contain about 18 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil and 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Potential oil shale production in America’s West is estimated to produce hundreds of billions of barrels as well. In light of record gas prices and tight crude supply, bringing new resources will help cushion the jump in gas prices.
Among the bills House conservatives are eager to debate is the American Energy Act, which takes an “all of the above” strategy to energy reform. If passed, the bill would remove federal restrictions on domestic oil production and oil shale development, while also encouraging energy conservation and efficiency through tax incentives and promoting renewable and alternative sources of energy including wind, solar, and nuclear power.
Conservative House legislators promise to continue demanding a practical, comprehensive resolution to high energy prices that will encourage innovation, allow competition, and protect the freedoms of taxpayers for “as long as it takes.” As Rep. Pence declared Monday on the House floor, “The American people can’t take a vacation from high gas prices; Congress should not be taking a 5 week vacation.”
Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) have partnered up to defend American Energy Freedom Day from the threat of Congressional inaction. American Energy Freedom Day, on October 1, 2008, marks the expiration date of the federal restrictions currently preventing exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf and the leasing of oil shale on federal lands. The successful removal of the energy prohibition will allow Americans to exploit the gigantic supply of American energy resources that have been restricted by liberals for over 25 years.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented:
“Over-regulation and government interference have spiked the average price of gas --once $2.00 in January 2007-- to an astronomical $4.00. The solution to rising energy costs boils down to the fundamental economic law of supply and demand, where lowering prices requires either a decrease in demand or an increase in supply. FreedomWorks salutes Rep. Hensarling and Sen. DeMint along with Representatives Shadegg, Price, Cantor, Pence and other conservative lawmakers for taking a serious step towards energy reform that Americans have been desperately looking for.”