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McKeon: Blame Dems for high gas

• Congressman highlights GOP energy plan

Posted: May 29, 2008 12:37 a.m.
Updated: July 30, 2008 5:04 a.m.
At a Valencia gas station Wednesday, Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) blames Democrats for high gas prices. At a Valencia gas station Wednesday, Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) blames Democrats for high gas prices.
At a Valencia gas station Wednesday, Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) blames Democrats for high gas prices.

As families are cashing in on their retirement savings in order to keep up with rising gas prices, which hit a nationwide record this week of $3.94 per gallon for regular unleaded, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon highlighted a Republican-drafted energy plan at the Chevron Gas Station and Auto Spa in Valencia on Wednesday afternoon.

"From the time Democrats first took control of Congress, gas prices have risen by more than 60 percent," said McKeon, R-Calif. "The ‘Pelosi Premium' is hitting Americans hard. Current gas prices are at record highs, and projections for the future appear to only get worse as long as we stay on the same course."

To address rising gas prices, he introduced an energy plan unveiled by House Republicans last week, which McKeon says will offer meaningful solutions to increase the supply of American energy, improve energy efficiency and encourage investment in alternative and renewable energy technologies.

McKeon added that not only have the Democrats failed to control gas prices since taking over leadership in Congress after the 2006 general election, they have also failed to work with Republicans to develop a bipartisan plan to keep gas prices under control.

"Pelosi had a plan as minority leader, but during the last year and a half majority leader, gas prices have skyrocketed," he said. "We, as Republicans, have to be given a chance to put this plan into play. Yet at least we have a plan."

The plan, which calls for bringing deepwater oil drilling online and onshore oil drilling online in Alaska, building new refineries and cutting earmarks to fund the gas tax holiday, would lower gas prices by at least $1.98 per gallon.

Under the Democrat plan, McKeon stated that gas prices would only be cut five cents. Specifically, he pointed out that the Democrat's plan included a lawsuit against OPEC, seven price gouging investigations, four "Speculators" investigations and halting oil shipments to petroleum reserves.

According to McKeon, the Republican energy plan will allow the country to reduce its reliance on foreign oil by reliance on and production of American-made energy, cutting red tape, offering tax incentives for conservation and promoting new, clean and reliable sources of energy.

"We could do this in a matter of two years, if we really get serious," he said. "We've heard of no solutions from Democrat leadership, nor have we seen any indication that they will change our current course of action."

"When I was young, I paid 25 cents per gallon for gas," McKeon said. "Today, my constituents are more concerned with gas prices than illegal immigration. That has never happened in the past."

The congressman was referring to a tele-town hall meeting he had Tuesday night with several thousand local residents. During the massive telephone conference call, McKeon stated that while only one caller discussed illegal immigration, a majority of callers expressed concern over gas prices. That was a stark contrast to previous telephonic town hall meetings, where the primary issue discussed was always illegal immigration.

"We should not be hostage to our enemies," McKeon said, pointing out that the United States relies heavily on foreign oil from countries such as Venezuela. "It is crucial for us to be independent upon our resources."

McKeon also added that shifting to alternative energy sources, such as solar, coal-to-liquids and other renewables will help America rely less on foreign oil and increase environmentally-safe energy solutions domestically.

"We can't change overnight," he said. "Republicans recognize that hardworking Americans need relief, and that's why we have outlined an ambitious agenda to increase American-made energy, bring down gas prices and move toward energy independence."


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