Environment America Comments on Gas Prices Hearing: Subsidies to Big Oil Not the Answer

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House Natural Resources Committee explored the impact of higher gas prices on Americans and several sectors of the U.S. economy.  Witnesses representing organizations such as the American Trucking Association and the Chamber of Commerce predictably called for more domestic production of oil and gas. 

Mike Gravitz, Oceans Advocate of Environment America said the following: 

“In an effort to craft a modern day fairy tale, the Natural Resources Committee continues to call in witnesses and to produce bills that claim the best way to create energy and lower gas prices is to drill more and drill anywhere.  This is pure mythology—in the real world, the only way to overcome the consequences of our oil dependence is to get off oil.

“The only people who stand to benefit from more drilling are the oil companies and energy market speculators who have worked to cause this problem to begin with. American families pay their whopping gas bill at the pump while Big Oil companies bank billions in profits each quarter and then claim they need billions of dollars more in tax breaks to keep drilling. 

"Ending subsidies to Big Oil is a real deficit reduction opportunity waiting to be grabbed by this Congress. Instead of helping Big Oil and the speculators, the Natural Resources Committee should be focused on getting our country off oil as quickly as possible.  We’re improving car mileage already and we can do better–establishing 60 mpg standards for cars and trucks through 2025 could cut our oil dependence by nearly one third.

“We are building solar and wind electricity plants and must invest further in these technologies. Offshore wind installations in the Atlantic Ocean could generate more electricity than is produced by all states on the Atlantic seaboard but this Committee isn’t talking about that. We can tap into American ingenuity to expand mass transit, increase building energy efficiency, and invest in any number of new, clean technologies, yet Big Oil’s allies in congress only talk about hampering progress.

“Our future is in clean renewable forms of energy, more efficient cars, energy efficient buildings and robust public transit development, not subsidies to Big Oil to expand drilling.”