Press Release ● Energy and the Environment
For Immediate Release: 
May 12, 2011
Contact Info: 

Daniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on Republican drilling bills on the floor this week:

“Rising gasoline prices put a painful economic burden on American families and Congress must deploy every energy solution in its power, including, but not limited to, safe and responsible drilling for oil. Unfortunately, this week House Republicans passed two bills focused on drilling that will not have any significant impact on gas prices in the short term.

“The bill we voted on today claims to ‘reverse President Obama’s drilling moratorium.’ In fact, there is no such moratorium. Under President Obama’s watch, domestic oil production rose to its highest level since 2003. What some wrongly call a ‘moratorium’ is, in fact, an entirely reasonable requirement that oil companies show their plans are safe before they start drilling—a requirement that is especially essential in the wake of the BP Gulf disaster.

“Yesterday, House Republicans passed the deceptively named ‘Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work’ Act, which would rush offshore drilling permits through the approval process, even if critical environmental or safety reviews have not been completed. If the BP Gulf disaster taught us anything, it is that we should not take steps to make offshore drilling less safe.

“We must drill, but safely and responsibly, while also investing in alternative sources of energy and in clean energy technologies. Rather than issuing or expediting new leases with no regard for safety, let’s make sure that oil companies are using the leases they already own and allow for reasonable environmental and safety requirements. There is also no reason that oil companies making record profits should receive massive subsidies from the American taxpayer.

“All of those steps make up a comprehensive, effective energy policy. This flawed Republican plan does not.”