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Rhetoric vs. Reality: White House Spinning Its Wheels on President's 'Drill & Veto' Energy Policies

Comments on Friday from White House Spokesman Tony Fratto about the President's offshore drilling proposal further underscored the policy is nothing but political rhetoric. The Bush ‘drill and veto' plan was literally written by the oil industry and crafted to serve Big Oil rather than the interests of American families and businesses.

From Friday's White House Press Gaggle:

(Question about why not following the existing leases that are “far more down the pipe than ANWR or any other spaces that aren't even opened up…”)

TONY FRATTO:
“I'm sure some of them are, but it's not a question of, why not do something first; it's why don't we do everything that we can do.  And when oil is at $130 or approaching $140 a barrel and Americans are paying $4, on the way to $5 a gallon for gasoline, they don't want to hear that we're doing things one at a time.  They want to hear that we're doing everything that we can possibly be doing to help them bring down those prices.”

BUT A FEW MINUTES LATER…

TONY FRATTO:
“…if you're looking for any measure that would significantly reduce gasoline prices over a period of weeks or months, those tools just don't exist.  That can only take place over the long term -- except for the choices of individual Americans to just reduce the amount of gasoline they use.”

 THE FACTS

  •  The fact is there are 68 million acres onshore and offshore in the U.S. that are leased by oil companies--open to drilling and actually under lease--but not developed.
  • The fact is 80 percent of the oil available on the Outer Continental Shelf is already open for leasing--but the oil companies haven't decided it's worth their money to drill there.
  • The fact is that drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge wouldn't yield any oil for 10 years--and then would only save the consumer 1.8 cents per gallon in 2030.
  • All told, the U.S. has only 1.6 percent of world's known oil supply.  But every day, Americans use a quarter of the world's daily oil consumption.

The New Direction Congress is committed to bringing real relief to those feeling the pinch from high gas and diesel prices and ensuring the needs of families and businesses are put before the interests of Big Oil companies. We will continue to work to develop other innovative legislation that addresses high energy costs and our shift to a more energy efficient economy. The American people deserve a cleaner, greener, more energy efficient future.