As recently as 2011, McCaskill opposed Republican efforts to open up additional offshore areas to exploration, and she has called proposals for domestic drilling in Alaska’s ANWR “bogus.” In 2008, she voted against an amendment that would allow energy exploration in ANWR and give individual states the ability to authorize drilling off their coasts.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s own Energy Department doesn’t see relief in sight. According to the Los Angeles Times, “[T]he Energy Department has boosted its pump-price predictions for the peak driving season, defined as April through September, and for the full year. Peak prices will average $3.925 for a gallon of regular gasoline in the peak driving season, 5.7% higher than during last year’s peak season and up from February’s forecast of $3.62 during the peak months, according to the agency’s monthly Short-term Energy Outlook. The high is projected to be $3.96 in May. If national prices average just south of $4 a gallon during the peak season, then there will be times when the U.S. average probably will exceed $4. And California drivers can expect to pay a lot more because of the state’s cleaner-burning type of gasoline.” Little wonder, then, that The Wall Street Journal headlines a story today, “With Gas Prices Rising, Obama Feels Heat.”
Recall that just a month ago, the president was travelling around the country declaring, “$40 can make all the difference in the world.” He said at one point if the payroll tax cut were not renewed, “This makes a difference in the lives of folks all across the country in very important ways… It would be $40 less for groceries to feed your kids; it would be $40 less for the medications you depend on; $40 less to cover bills and the rent; $40 less to take care of an elder parent, or to donate to a church or a charity.”
But what about now when American families are seeing that extra $40 leave their wallets when they visit the gas station? Does President Obama still believe “People can’t afford losing $40 . . . . Not right now”?
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “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.”
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