Running on Fumes: Anti-Drilling Policies Threaten America's Recovery

The greatest threat to America’s prosperity has arrived in the form of inflation and high gas prices. Extreme short-sightedness by the Left has prevented us from developing new, affordable energy sources, instead implementing draconian drilling restrictions and siccing bureaucrats on American industry and manufacturing. As a result, energy prices have skyrocketed, jobs are moving overseas, and the economy is stagnating.

American families can ill afford such an avoidable situation at the tail end of a recession.

Without cheap, abundant energy, middle class families and small businesses will be squeezed out of prosperity. The cost of everything from food to medicine has already gone up dramatically under the failed leadership of President Obama. We are seeing $4 per gallon gasoline in most parts of the country and some have predicted $5 by Independence Day. This situation is made even worse by wasted subsidies on inefficient alternatives like ethanol, which drives up both the cost of food and fuel.

Sadly, our own president has lauded offshore exploration in Brazil while blocking drilling efforts here at home. In fact, President Obama’s Interior Department has issued just five domestic drilling permits since February. Meanwhile, Gulf coast families struggle to find work and put food on the table as they wait for bureaucrats to cut red tape.

Fortunately, the U.S. House took action last week under Republican leadership to speed up the permitting process for offshore drilling, open more leases, and strip authority away from unelected bureaucrats at the EPA. This is a critical step to making American industry competitive again, increasing our energy independence, and protecting our national security.

Democrats, however, are proposing to make matters worse with new taxes which will make domestic drilling operations more expensive, give foreign cartels a leg up, and ultimately drive up prices at the pump. This is a reactionary measure to appease far left extremists that does nothing to increase supply and relieve the burden felt by working families. Is it any wonder that gas prices are 80% higher than when President Obama came into power while Gulf oil production is expected to drop by 220,000 barrels a day?

The Congressional Research Service has estimated that there are approximately 165 billion barrels of untapped oil in the U.S., and that doesn’t include shale. That’s perhaps the highest amount of untapped potential on the planet. While the rest of the world continues to drill, boosting their economies, we have neglected to develop our own resources, becoming more reliant on others to meet those very needs.

The Democrats’ backwards, anti-energy policies have already cost us thousands of jobs and will most likely mean a loss of $1.4 billion in U.S. revenues this year. In truth, we are already running on fumes. We can’t afford to wait for a crisis. The time to act is now.