Pain at the Pump, or Lower Prices at the Pump?

By Cong. Joe Barton
Texas Insider Report: Washington, D.C. – When I went to fill up my car the other day I had a case of déjà vu. Gas prices are skyrocketing and some experts say they won’t stop until they hit $5 a gallon. It’s like I stepped into a time machine & travelled back to the Summer of 2008. Back then on these same pages I wrote a column proclaiming: Cheaper gasoline is within our grasp.

Back then it was a Democrat-led Congress holding our energy policy hostage, now it is a Democratic President.

Democrats on Capitol Hill took every chance they got to block or delay Republican plans to increase home-grown energy production. While they are no longer in power, it appears President Obama is using the same playbook.

He started by issuing a drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. And when a judge said it had to be lifted, the Obama Administration just stopped issuing drilling permits.

Unrest in the Middle East has sent oil prices over $100 a barrel, and our lack of energy production has left us without a buffer.

Gas prices have gone up rapidly in the past few weeks stifling the positive economic gain we have made recently. According to one major energy analyst, for every penny the price of gasoline increases, it costs consumers nationwide an additional $4 million per day. 

That equals $1.4 billion over an entire year.

The good news is just like back in 2008: Cheaper gasoline is within our grasp.

Here are some easy steps to save you money at the pump:

  • End De Facto Drilling Moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Interior Department’s decision to issue only a handful of shallow water permits and one deepwater permit since the Deepwater Horizon explosion last April is hurting our economy.   According the Administration’s own estimates, the moratorium has resulted in 12,000 lost jobs and rigs are actively leaving the Gulf for foreign countries like Cuba, Brazil and Mexico.  According to the EIA, production in the Gulf has declined by nearly 300,000 barrels a day since last April.
  • Increase Offshore Production.  President Obama has placed the entire Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast and the Eastern Gulf off-limits to future energy production – as it was before Congress lifted the moratorium in 2008.   A good portion of Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf is also being kept under lock-and-key.  According to the American Energy Alliance, expanding drilling in the OCS could create 1.2 million jobs annually across the country and generate $8 trillion in economic output.
  • Increase Alaskan Production. Declining production on the Alaskan North Slope threatens the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS), a vital artery of domestic oil.  Several fields with tremendous potential await exploration and production, but the Administration continues to drag its heels on permits and embargo our own oil from ourselves.
  • Increase Onshore Production.  Regulations imposed by the Obama Administration have significantly decreased onshore oil and natural gas production. The Western U.S. holds more than half of the world’s oil shale resources, which can be converted to crude oil using new technology.  USGS estimates that the region may hold more than 1.5 trillion barrels of oil – six times Saudi Arabia’s proven resources – and enough to provide the U.S with energy for the next 200 years.
  • Stop Blocking Access to North American Resources. Instead of relying on energy sources half a world away, America has opportunities to access energy from an ally and neighbor here in North America.  The Obama Administration is preventing that from happening by stalling approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create new American jobs while enhancing our energy and national security by bringing 700,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil to U.S. consumers. The Keystone XL pipeline would also allow us to access several hundred thousand barrels per day of oil in the newly-discovered Bakken formation in North Dakota.
  • Don’t Increase Taxes on American Energy.   Republicans oppose efforts by the Obama Administration to make energy more expensive and destroy jobs by imposing new taxes.  The President’s FY 2012 budget proposal includes over $60 billion in tax and fee increases on American energy production.  These taxes will hurt our economy and simply be passed on to consumers, resulting in even higher prices at the pump.

It is time for the President listen to Republicans and turn these common sense ideas into policy so we can lower prices at the pump and keep the economy moving forward.


  1. The WSJ published an interesting piece about a month ago on our NATURAL GAS reserves and the fact that we have the technology to be the world’s exporter of LNG making our competitors in the energy world cry “Mercy”.. With control of the White House as well as the Congress, we could restore America to its proper place as the Land of the FREE and the Brave. Let’s Git er Dun!

  2. IndyTexan
    So your solution is to STEAL from those that have and give it to those that have-not. Have you ever heard—“Thou shall not steal” or “Thou shall not covet?” Keep breaking these commandments and see where you wind up. Most folks that decide to go your path eventually end up worse off, for after they have stolen from the ones that have until everyone is a have-not, then who are they going to steal from? You are not a “we the people”, that went away for many–years ago. You are a lazy, nonproductive, probably union person that wants a free handout and wants to be a poor victim and chastise someone else for your failings and mistakes. Let me make it REAL CLEAR—-IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY—-GO MAKE YOUR OWN!!!

  3. Give me a break. “We The People” are under assault, not by the left, or by clean energy, but by the engorged corporate profits that have sucked this country and world dry and are running both sides of our government. How much money does the top 1% of this country have to suck up in assets, cash and property, before everyone sees that there is no possibility of a successful “Republic” or “Democracy,” when we have this kind of wealth gap? Those people have no allegiance to our country or people anymore!

    And for those who claim that taxing the rich is not a solution because they’ve “worked so hard to earn it,” PLEASE! There is no incentive to “work hard” for “better wages” once you reach a certain obscene amount of wealth. These people are making money off of money as the rest of us get laid off or beg for crumbs from the non-profit sector…remember the CEOs who took billions in the obscene bailout (which happened during the Bush admin, in case some of you forgot)? They’re the real welfare recipients!

  4. When can Texas “check out”, and reorganize the Republic. Then we can drill on our 12 miles out in the Gulf and be “free” from the insanity of DC.

    Hey…one can dream!!!!

  5. Edward, you are wrong about the Tea Party. If we weren’t involved in the last election—Pelosi and Reid would still be riding rough shod over everyone. Our endeavor is not to save a party—it’s to Save and Restore the nation.

    BTW- I appreciate you are a Republican and Veteran, but if you agree with the socialist path BHO has us on, you cannot depend on your Resume to save you—you are still misguided.

  6. Time to get rid of this administration for corruption and treason against We the People! We need to impeach/nullify more of the dopeocrats before they do more harm to our once great country. Let them take 50% cuts in their gigantic undeserved salaries and get rid of their perks and pensions built on screwing We the Taxpayers. They have all contributed to ruining our country and its economy. I am sick of getting up everyday to see what else they have crapped up. I also hate to hear hussein’s name and see his horrid grinning face on TV….yucko

  7. Everone seems to have the answers. My question is where is the “action”? I know things are wrong things need to happen to correct the wrongs but what?? What am I suppose to do, wait until 2012 when it may well be too late?? WE need to get something done and get it done quickly. But what???

  8. f.w. you are an idiot–try taking all of what I said into the equation. You are a typical short sighte d person who will not agree with anything that other people have to say. Did you not notice the reference to nuclear and shale. You just want to jump on the solar and wind thing. I happen to be a lifelong Republican and veteran. But I guess I wouldn’t measure up for you, as I am not a teaparty republican(a phenomena that needs to go away, before it destroys the Republican party).

  9. The solution is fairly simple. It will take some time, but this works.

    Eliminate – – – unnecessary trips.
    Combine – – – the trips you have to make
    Refuse – – – – to buy anything from gas station convenience stores including their car washes.
    That worked the last time gas prices got out of line and it will work again.

  10. It appears the left in this country has never considered “what if” scenarios regarding the USA going away and someone else taking over … by way of us owing debt or by force? The first appears more logical because whoever will literally own us (soon … it appears); but the second could also occur if we remove funding for our military. So, is it when … they take over or how? If we don’t right our ship soon, one of the two could happen … and sooner than we’d like.

    Now hear is the question: do you people on the left and, especially environmentalists, really think whoever it would be (that would take over the USA) would really give a flip about ecology, green, no-drilling in ANWAR, no-drilling off the east or west coast, no drilling about anywhere? And do you think you would have any input into their decisions as to how to develop those resources?

    The beauty about keeping the USA intact … is, we (left and right) would develop our own resources (as we have been trying to do) in a modern/American industrial mind manner; both sides giving and taking but completing what is necessary to save this country and to continue to make America prosperous and healthy for its citizens.

  11. Please go through the “Insult to Injury” section of the site. All information is documented from their sources.

    Will you help spread the word ????








  13. obama and ALL democrats want to destroy the US economy so that the US will be equal to kenya.

    however, when the trouble started in egypt, I contacted over 80 republican members of congress and demanded that they go to the house or senate floor and demand that obama, EPA, department of interior and any other government agency which is preventing oil drilling to get out of our way so we can drill for jobs, for the economy and for national security — still waiting-

    also contacted gov perry and several members of the state governemnt asking them to tell obama to take a hike, its texas land and water and we are going to drill — still waiting

    this is another reason why texas MUST secede from an evil, corrupt, bankrupt federal government; before its to late

  14. Edward Latham
    Yes that’s the answer; give the thugs in Washington some more of our money to spend—Give me a break. I would rather give all my credit cards to my sons and allow them to have a spending spree than send any more money to the Feds; at least I know the credit limit will eventually be reached. When the Feds reach theirs, they just crank up the presses and wa-la–more money to spend—Madoff was small fish compared to these thugs.

    BTW–I read that BHO is going to deny drilling permits because the judge ruled he had to issue the drilling permits within a few days. He claims it’s not enough time so he will just issue no permits—-Great President—man of the people—Send him some more of your money, Edward, I’m sure he’s thinking about you and knows you want to do your part and I’m sure you won’t mind paying a few extra dollars per gallon until the green energy kicks in—what a jack@$$ (I’m referring to our dear leader).

  15. The problem is not supply, even with the trouble in the mid east we still have more oil than refining capacity. The problem is demand. The world is competing with us. I know it is not popular, but the world is catching up with us. We need to lead the way in renewable energy–not just solar and wind, but nuclear and shale oil. Quit blaming one man–the dems and repubs are to blame for this mess–you can;t just say lower taxes will cure everything–we started 2 wars without any intention of paing for them–a tax hike is neccesary if you are going squander american lives and treasure.

  16. You’re right, CW. Artificially high energy prices will drive Obama’s green agenda while simultaneously requiring even more Americans to depend on the government for assistance. He knows exactly what he is doing.

  17. This JUST exactly what the GREEN MACHINE wants to HAPPEN.
    Everyone needs to REALIZE:
    The OBAMA administration DOES NOT CARE what the MAJORITY of AMERICANS want.

  18. BHO will NOT listen. His sole purpose is to collapse everything and in steps in SAVIOR GOVERNMENT to sort out the winners and losers. These gas hikes are crazy and should not be happening here. The pain and suffering BHO and the Democrats is causing everyone will not be forgotten.

Leave a Reply