The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx) for 5 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, I know I'm going to repeat some of the things that my colleague from Texas has gone over as it relates to energy in our country and the response of the Obama administration. But, Mr. Speaker, these facts bear repeating because the media has been complicit with the Obama administration in hiding the facts from the American people about the extraordinarily negative impact that the President and his administration have had on the American people as it relates to energy prices.
Let me say, again, that on his inauguration date in 2009, the average price of gasoline in this country was $1.84. The average price of gasoline today is $3.73. That is a 102 percent increase. By spring, the estimates by Barrons are that the price of gasoline will be $4.50. This is a tremendous burden on the hardworking American taxpayers. We hear the President and his people in his administration talking about how they want to be fair--fair to the middle class. Well, what's not fair to hardworking American taxpayers is the President's inability to see how the price of gasoline is hurting those hardworking American taxpayers.
A 1-cent increase in the cost of gas equals $1 billion out of our economy and is a $4 million per day cost to consumers. A 50-cent increase in gasoline equals a $70 billion yearly loss to the U.S. economy. Again, how does it affect the average family? In 2009, it cost them $173.80 more; in 2010, $281.06; in 2011, $368.09.
The Republicans have a plan to do something about this, but again, we have to explain to the American people we're only one-half of one-third of the Federal Government. We've passed five bills in the House to increase energy production from the abundant supply of natural resources we have in this country.
Mr. Speaker, we could be energy independent in this country, but the President and the people who work for him and the Senate are stopping us from being that way. We've passed legislation to ensure construction of the Keystone pipeline. Together with the Keystone pipeline and the other bills we've passed, we'd decrease our reliance on Middle Eastern oil and stabilize gas prices. They will create hundreds of thousands of good American jobs and make our Nation more secure.
But what is the Obama administration saying? And they are being helped to perpetuate these myths by the lame-stream media. They claim they are not responsible for the increased prices and that there's nothing they can do. But they are trying to take credit for previous Presidents Clinton and Bush pro-energy policies. The reason oil production is up today is because of development on private and State lands. North Dakota alone produced almost 16 million barrels of oil in January 2011 compared to only a little more than 2 million in January 2012, the majority of which is on State and private lands.
The Obama administration is not opening new offshore areas for energy production. The President and the administration claim to be opening more than 75 percent of offshore lands for energy exploration. This is absolutely false.
The Obama administration has blocked energy production on Federal lands, and the Obama administration denies the potential of domestic oil production. So everywhere we turn, the President and the people who work for him are keeping us from becoming energy independent.
Let me give you some quotes from the President. January 2008:
Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.
We all remember that.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, December 2008:
Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.
And another one:
Mr. Chu has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over the next 15 years to coax consumers into buying more efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work.
Mr. Speaker, we Republicans have a plan. We need the Senate to act on that plan.
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