[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 31 (Tuesday, February 28, 2012)]
[Pages S1064-S1065]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                             ENERGY POLICY

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, over the past few weeks, the American 
people have begun to feel the painful effects of President Obama's 
energy policy.
  Make no mistake, the rising price of gasoline isn't simply the result 
of forces we can't control. It is, to a large extent, the result of a 
vision this President laid out even before he was elected to office. 
That vision was on clear display just last week.
  As millions of Americans groaned at the rising cost of a gallon of 
gasoline, the President took to the microphones to talk about a far-off 
day when Americans might be able to use algae as a substitute for gas. 
Then, dusting off the same talking points Democrats have been using for 
decades, he claimed there is no short-term solution to the problem.
  In other words, he kicked the can down the road for another day, 
another time, abdicating leadership on yet another issue of national 
  This morning, I think it is worthwhile to take a step back from the 
rhetoric and look at what this President has actually done about this 
problem and what his energy policies would mean for the future because, 
according to numerous private and public energy experts, gas prices are 
only going to keep rising in the weeks and months ahead, going up and 
up. Some say the average price for a gallon of gasoline could hit $4 by 
late spring, early summer, and could reach $5 or even $6 in some areas 
of our country. When that moment comes, Americans should know what the 
administration had to do with it.

[[Page S1065]]

  For starters, let's not forget that as a candidate the President 
himself said he preferred what he called a ``gradual adjustment'' to 
gas prices--in other words, higher prices that went up slowly so people 
did not feel the pinch quite as acutely. Let's also recall that after 
his election the President chose an Energy Secretary who said he wanted 
gas prices more in line with those over in Europe, where folks pay 
about $8 a gallon for gas. That is what they pay for gas over in 
Europe, where the Energy Secretary said we should be looking to 
establish gas prices. Let's not forget that the President chose as 
Interior Secretary a man who, as a U.S. Senator, objected to increased 
oil and gas drilling here at home even if the price of gas exceeded $10 
a gallon--right here on the Senate floor. So no one should be surprised 
at the fact that we are well on the road to European gas prices when 
the President and the two Cabinet officials he chose to deal with the 
issue are all on record supporting them.
  Let's be honest, the only problem the President sees in all of this 
is the political blowback he is getting for it, and that is why last 
week he gave another speech--this time to absolve himself from any of 
the blame for high gas prices even as he sought to take credit for the 
actions of the private sector and that his predecessors took to 
increase energy production here at home.
  It is kind of interesting--the President seems to blame his 
predecessor on a weekly basis for the problems we face today, but when 
he finds something he likes, he doesn't commend him but claims it as an 
achievement for himself. Yes, oil production is at an alltime high in 
this country, thanks to the decisions that were made before this 
President took office.
  But let's be very clear about something: The actions of this 
President are driving down oil production, and here is how. This 
President continues to limit offshore areas of energy production and is 
granting fewer leases to public land for oil drilling. His 
administration is imposing regulations that will further drive up the 
cost of gasoline for the consumer. He wants to raise taxes on oil and 
gas--a proposal the Congressional Research Service tells us will 
increase the price of oil and gas and, by the way, send jobs overseas. 
And he alone rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline--a potentially game-
changing domestic energy project that promises not only energy 
independence from Middle Eastern oil but tens of thousands of private 
sector jobs.
  The President has done all of those things, all the while claiming 
there are not any silver bullets. The fact is this President's policies 
are designed and intended to drive up energy prices, reduce domestic 
oil production, increase our demand on foreign sources of oil, and 
drive high-paying American jobs overseas. Those are the direct results 
of the policies of this administration. So forget the rhetoric; that is 
this President's record. It is in perfect keeping with the vision he 
set out at the beginning of his administration. This President will go 
to any length to drive up gas prices and pave the way for his 
ideological agenda. That is this President's notion of fairness, that 
struggling Americans pay more at the pump while their tax dollars go to 
prop up solar companies like Solyndra and the executives who run them 
into the ground.
  I do not think it is particularly fair--speaking of fairness--for 
people who are out there trying to scrape a living together to 
subsidize bonuses for folks who would not even have a business without 
a taxpayer handout. That is not my definition of fairness, but that is 
the economy this President wants. That is what his policies lead to. 
That is his vision. So, in my view, reversing this President's 
wrongheaded energy policies is the silver bullet.
  Look, the President can taunt his critics for suggesting that we 
actually use the resources we have, but I think the American people 
realize that a President who is out there talking about algae when they 
are having to choose between whether to buy groceries or fill up the 
tank is the one who is out of touch. Americans get this issue. They 
understand it fully. They get that we need to increase oil production 
right here at home, not simply by relying on pipedreams--pipedreams 
like algae--or by wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on more failed 
clean energy projects like Solyndra, especially at a time when we are 
running trillion-dollar deficits. We cannot afford it.
  It is time for the President to join with Republicans and put 
American energy and economic security ahead of his own ideological 
  I yield the floor.