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Commentary :: Environment
12 Aug 2008
Ten to twenty years is far too long to wait for a solution that was needed decades ago. Common sense approaches will prepare us for an oil-independent future. Immediate steps can be taken to alleviate the impact of rising gas prices.
From : Congressman Earl Blumenauer earl.blumenauer (at)

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Representing Oregon's 3rd District

Dear Friend,

After seven years of dangerous energy policies, Oregon families are reeling from the effects of rising gas prices. Americans deserve better than political posturing from an administration that continues to serve up a failed energy policy, and pushing for increased drilling on our public lands is their newest deceitful maneuver. This is not only a hoax, but pure “drillusion.” Opening up new public lands to drilling can take anywhere from 10-20 years to produce oil, yet I know you need relief today.

Oil companies already hold leases on 68 million acres of public lands but are NOT drilling. Instead of exercising the opportunities they have, they are trying to accrue additional drilling leases in the Arctic and along our coasts. This is not a solution; this is only a continuation of the same disastrous policies that fail to address our growing crisis.

There are immediate steps we can take to alleviate the impact of rising gas prices. For instance, we can rein in speculators, which add $5 to $50 to the price of a barrel of oil. We can also reduce the cost of gas by releasing some of the oil stored in our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Currently at 97 percent capacity, the SPR is the largest emergency supply in the world. Three presidents have done this in the past, cutting the cost of oil by as much as a third.

In addition to short term help, we need to make wise investments in our transportation system. This will not only address the energy crisis, but it will create thousands of new jobs and boost our sagging economy.

Recently I introduced a bill, the “Transportation and Housing Choices for Gas Price Relief Act,” that would immediately reduce the impact of high gas prices.

My legislation will help Americans cope with rising energy costs by providing transportation options, such as incentives for commuting by carpooling, public transit, and bicycling, as well as telecommuting.

Although there is no silver bullet for solving the complex energy problem, we can take action now to make sure that Oregon’s families receive the assistance they need. Ten to twenty years is far too long to wait for a solution that was needed decades ago, and I will continue working on common sense approaches that will prepare us for an oil-independent future.


Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress

[check out Jon Stewart's "Offshore Shilling" from The Daily Show, August 2008:
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