Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

Katie Brown (202) 224-2160      

Inhofe: High Gas Prices are Exactly What President Obama Wants

Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, commented on President Obama's address today on rising gas prices at the University of Miami.

"President Obama has been going around the country saying that there are no magic solutions to rising gas prices; that's because higher gas prices - higher prices for the energy we use - are exactly what the President wants," Senator Inhofe said.  "Remember President Obama himself declared a war on affordable energy when he said that under his plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity prices would 'necessarily skyrocket.'  And don't forget that his Energy Secretary Steven Chu said '[s]omehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.' In some areas in Florida where President Obama was speaking today, gas prices are nearing $6.00 a gallon so he is well on his way to achieving this goal. 

"Now that global warming hysteria is dead and gone, and Americans desperately need affordable gasoline, President Obama is pretending that he's for an 'all-of-the-above' approach to energy - and, contrary to the facts, he is trying to take credit for domestic oil and gas production.  But make no mistake, every policy he is implementing is expressly designed to drive up energy costs and eliminate the most affordable sources we have: oil, natural gas, and coal.

"While supposedly addressing Americans' anxiety over rising gas prices, President Obama failed to mention that his EPA plans to propose strict gasoline regulations which will raise the price at the pump by 25 cents per gallon.  And instead of taking ownership for blatantly rejecting the Keystone pipeline, he's blaming others for squandering the best opportunity he has ever had to bring down energy costs, create jobs, and increase energy security. If that isn't enough, take a look at President Obama's rules for power plants and industrial boilers, which make up the most expensive regulatory regime in American history.  The Utility MACT rule alone will cost $11 billion annually, but this rule is second only to President Obama's greenhouse gas regulations, which could cost more than $400 billion a year.  Who is going to have to pay for this regulatory nightmare?  American families.

"There is a solution to rising gas prices: we can end President Obama's reckless war on affordable energy and start developing our own resources.  His mantra - that America only has 2% of the world's reserves - is nonsense.  The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has found that America's recoverable endowment of oil, gas and coal is the largest on earth; yet we are the only country that does not develop our own resources. Doing so would not only bring down prices at the pump, it is the surest path to economic recovery and energy security.  But President Obama is determined to take the opposite path: one that leads to more pain at the pump, a depressed economy, and fewer jobs."