Bush Calls Out the Dems

In his radio address this morning, President Bush went after the Democrats on energy:

The fundamental problem behind high gas prices is that the supply of oil has not kept up with the rising demand across the world. One obvious solution is for America to increase our domestic oil production. So my Administration has repeatedly called on Congress to open access to new oil exploration here in the United States. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal. Now Americans are paying the price at the pump for this obstruction. So this week, I asked Democratic congressional leaders to take the side of working families and small businesses and farmers and ranchers and move forward with four steps to expand American oil and gasoline production.

Bush pressed the Dems to open up the Outer Continental Shelf, then added this:

There’s also an executive prohibition on exploration in the OCS, which I will lift when Congress lifts the legislative ban.

The President went on to talk about shale oil development in the Rockies:

Second, we should expand American oil production by tapping into the extraordinary potential of oil shale. … One major deposit in the Rocky Mountain West alone would equal current annual oil imports for more than a hundred years. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of further development. In last year’s omnibus spending bill, Democratic leaders inserted a provision blocking oil shale leasing on Federal lands. That provision can be taken out as easily as it was slipped in — and Congress should do so immediately.

Next was ANWR, which can be exploited with “virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife.” Finally, refining capacity:

It has been 30 years since a new refinery was built in our Nation, and lawsuits and red tape have made it extremely costly to expand or modify existing refineries. The result is that America now imports millions of barrels of fully refined gasoline from abroad. This imposes needless costs on American families and drivers. It deprives American workers of good jobs.

Finally, Bush laid the problem once again at the Dems’ door:

I know Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past. Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act.

Excellent stuff. We need to do this every single day.

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