McConnell Takes President to Task on Gas Prices
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding rising gas prices and the administration’s failed energy policies:
“Last week, I came to the Senate floor to speak out on an issue that’s on the minds of a lot of Americans these days — the rising cost of gas at the pump – and how the administration’s policies are making matters worse.
“The President may try to take credit for production gains that are entirely the work of others. But more to the point is the fact that production is up on private lands and down on federal lands, the property the President and Interior secretary actually manage.
“In fact, when it comes to the rising cost of gas at the pump, it’s my view that the administration’s policies are actually designed to bring about higher gas prices, a view that shouldn’t be the least bit controversial given the fact that the President’s own energy secretary has suggested on a couple of occasions now that his goal isn’t to drive gas prices down.
“For the President’s part, he often says that Americans should judge him not only by his words but on his deeds.
“So when it comes to gas prices, I’ve pointed out that the President continues to limit offshore areas to energy production and is granting fewer leases on public land for oil drilling; has encouraged countries like Brazil to move forward with their own offshore drilling projects; continues to impose burdensome regulations on the domestic energy sector that will further drive up the cost of gasoline for the consumer; has repeatedly proposed raising taxes on the energy sector, which we all know would only drive up gas prices even higher and, finally, has flatly rejected the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.
“All these things help drive up the cost of gas and increase our dependence on foreign oil.
“So the President simply can’t claim to have a comprehensive approach to energy, because he doesn’t. And any time he says he does, the American people should remember one word: Keystone.
“Another thing they might want to do is play a clip of the press conference the President held yesterday. Asked about whether he actually wants gas prices to go up, the President’s facetious attempt to deflect the question only served to confirm the premise.
“But it was the President’s admission that rising gas prices hurt the economy that really betrayed the administration’s attempt to have it both ways on this issue.
“Because if higher gas prices hurt the economy, then why in the world is the administration calling for higher taxes on energy manufacturers?
“We know these taxes would drive up the price at the pump and send jobs overseas. If the President wants to drive prices down, he should stop calling for them.
“Look: if the President wants Americans to think he’s serious about lowering gas prices, he’s got to do more than simply say that no President would want higher prices ‘in an election year.’ He’s got to get serious about changing his policies. And he might want to consider an energy secretary that’s more committed to helping the American people than in helping the administration’s buddies in the solar panel business.
“And that brings me to a larger point.
“The President likes to talk about fairness. But when it comes to rising gas prices, the American people don’t think it’s particularly fair that at a time when they’re struggling to fill up the tank, their own tax dollars are being used to subsidize failing solar companies of the President’s choosing, not to mention the bonuses that executives at these companies keep getting.
“I think most Americans are tired of reading about all the goodies this administration’s allies are getting on their dime even as the President goes around lecturing them about fairness.
“I’ll tell you what’s not fair: what’s not fair is that it now costs about $40 more to fill up a 20-gallon tank of gasoline than it did when this President took office, and yet this administration continues to pursue policies that would make it even worse.
“Earlier this year, the White House launched a campaign in support of the payroll tax holiday asking Americans what $40 a month meant to them. Yet now, when it comes to gas prices, they’re doubling down on policies that are driving them up.
“Once again, they’re trying to have it both ways.
“And, frankly, the American people have had it.”