WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Bush announced that he is lifting the executive ban on offshore oil drilling:
“Today President Bush announced that he is lifting the executive ban on oil drilling off America’s coastlines. But with every statement, it’s becoming clearer that his main response to this energy crisis is to divert attention from the six years of failed Republican energy policies that began with Vice President Cheney’s secret meetings with oil executives and have culminated in record gas prices.
“Today’s announcement isn’t about legitimate drilling access; it is political messaging excess. The president could have chosen to work with Congressional leaders to promote responsible oil and gas production. It’s clear that he wants political ads, not answers.
“Drilling in the OCS will do nothing to lower gas prices, but it will mean one more handout to those who are already enjoying billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Let me remind President Bush: If the oil companies wanted more domestic drilling, they could begin today. They could begin on the 68 million acres of land that are already set aside, leased, and available for drilling. And with upcoming Democratic legislation to speed up the leasing process for 20 million more acres in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, they’ll be able to drill there, too.”