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Setting the Record Straight on the President's Energy Policies

In a press conference yesterday, President Bush reiterated his unyielding support for more of the same failed Republican energy policies that have brought record high gas prices to consumers and businesses and record profits to Big Oil

“Two oil giants, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, announced record profits yesterday totaling $17 billion in the first three months of the year. Exxon Mobil is expected to smash its own previous records for quarterly corporate profits tomorrow. Average gasoline prices, meanwhile, have surged to a new high of $3.60 per gallon.” [Washington Post, 4/30/08]

Most notable was his persistent call for drilling Alaska's Arctic Refuge - action that would do nothing to bring down high gas prices facing American families now.

“The Bush administration says the United States would be less addicted to foreign oil and fuel prices would be lower if Congress had only opened up Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. But that claim doesn't reflect the long lead time to develop the refuge's huge oil reserves, which would not be available for several more years and initial volumes would still be small if Congress in 2002 had approved the administration's plan to drill in ANWR, energy experts say.” [Reuters, 4/29/08]

Bush renewed his call for drilling in an Arctic wildlife refuge, but his own Energy Department says that would have little impact on gasoline prices.” [AP, 4/29/08]

President Bush also mistakenly claimed the Democratic-led Congress was responsible for the current capacity of U.S. oil refineries.

Bush also pointed to a lack of U.S. oil refinery capacity, saying that no new refinery has been built for 30 years. Refinery capacity has been a problem in the oil industry and was blamed for driving up prices, especially in 2006-2007. But oil companies have been expanding existing refineries, boosting U.S. capacity by 2 million barrels a day since 1985, to 17.6 million barrels a day.” [Washington Post, 4/30/08]

When top executives of the country's five largest oil companies earlier this month were asked at a House hearing whether they wanted to build a new refinery, each said no.” [AP, 4/29/08]