Gas prices up; domestic production idle

Summer is winding down and some parents may be considering a last minute getaway before school begins. Unfortunately, we are all starting to second guess potential trips as gasoline prices have gone up again.



This past month, the nation’s average gas price rose by 17 cents. This is the highest increase during the month of July in over a decade. And these numbers could get worse before they get better.



When gas prices go up, you always here folks in Washington start blaming the market speculators or some other mumbo jumbo. But all of us in Louisiana understand the importance of increasing our domestic energy supply – and basic economics tell you when the supply is up, prices come down.

There are a number of anti-energy production policies coming from the current administration to point to, but instead of complaining about them, I’ve been working on a number of solutions.



Recently, I introduced new legislation to replace the president’s current 5-year plan for energy production with a dramatically better option.



The president’s plan puts the majority of our offshore resources off limits and delays lease sales for new tracts until as late as 2014. My bill, in contrast, would open up many more areas for energy production – parts of the Gulf as well as regions in Alaska and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Any discussion about the lack of offshore energy production isn’t complete without mentioning the offshore drilling moratorium in 2010. All of us in Louisiana know of the devastating economic effects from the offshore drilling moratorium. Of course, the oil spill was devastating enough, but the moratorium to follow resulted in thousands of employees losing their jobs, and a drastic decrease in domestic energy production.

The job-killing moratorium was put in place after the administration issued a report using “science” as their justification. Now, alarming evidence has shown that the report was doctored and not really based on sound science. Instead the administration used the situation to advance their political agenda, void of actual sound science, including a potentially elaborate cover-up. 

I’m taking action on this too and have started working on an investigation of the potential cover-up that led to the moratorium. If the administration is allowed to get away with using politics over sound science to shut down much of the offshore industry, than our energy economy is deep trouble. Not just offshore, but onshore too.

We are the single most energy rich country in the world – and more of our resources need to be available. I’ll keep working to make that a reality.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how we can help more Louisiana families prepare for hurricane season.

Please contact me with your ideas at any of my state offices or in my Washington office. You can also reach me online at http://vitter.senate.gov.