Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chambliss: Americans Cannot Afford to Wait While Congress Plays Partisan Politics over Energy Crisis

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., took to the Senate floor today to underscore the need to provide immediate relief to American families who are trying to cope with skyrocketing fuel prices and to address long-term solutions to our nation’s energy crisis. Excerpts of Chambliss’ floor speech are below:

“Skyrocketing gas prices is the most important issue on the minds of my constituents in Georgia and all over the country. I hear from hundreds each day who struggle to fill up the gas tank to get to work or to take the kids to school or run necessary errands. They want to know what Congress is doing about the out-of-control gas prices.

“There are several issues that need to be addressed with respect to the issue of skyrocketing gas prices. We simply need to take advantage of additional resources that we have inside the United States. Less than a month ago, my Republican colleagues in the Senate proposed legislation that would authorize drilling in offshore coastal waters currently subject to a federal moratorium. This amendment was defeated. Everywhere I go in Georgia, people ask me why we aren’t drilling domestically for oil. We have consistently tried to pass legislation that would also allow drilling in ANWR, but every attempt has been defeated.

“Supply and demand dictates the price of everything in our economy. We've got to have the capability of providing the kind of supply that is demanded by Americans.

“We’ve got to continue down the road of researching and developing more alternative fuels. We have seen the development of ethanol primarily in one region of our country -- the Midwest. The unintended consequence that we've seen is that food prices have increased due to the demand for corn. That’s why we have to move to develop the means to produce ethanol from cellulosic-based products.

“We’ve also got to implement conservation practices from an individual and household standpoint. We have put some measures in place that will direct the automobile manufacturing industry to develop automobiles that get higher miles per gallon. We also need to encourage some personal measures to make sure that we truly do have conservation practices in place.

“Another common sense solution Republicans have offered and I’ve supported, is an immediate federal gas tax holiday. Here we are going into the summer when travel increases. If this bill passed and is signed by the president, every American would be paying 18.4 cents per gallon less for gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon less for diesel fuel.

“If we can do something about the pain at the pump, the obvious question is, why aren't we?”

Chambliss is a co-sponsor of the American Energy Production Act, which aims to lower the cost of energy by increasing domestic production of oil and gas in America. He is also a co-sponsor of S. 2890, which would temporarily suspend the federal tax on gasoline and diesel fuel through September 1, 2008. The legislation would keep the Highway Trust Fund whole by transferring funds from the General Treasury.

Senator Chambliss’ floor remarks can be viewed in their entirety on his website at

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