Bachmann, GOP Members Host Energy Crisis Meeting

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jun 20, 2008 8:49 AM
Townhall's John Hanlon attended a meeting yesterday with several Members of Congress yesterday.  The focus was gas prices.  Following is his report:

“The United States Congress caused this problem by handcuffing this nation from accessing the answer to our current problem and we are the key to turn that around…”, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said in a meeting about the $4 a gallon gasoline crisis that has caused prices at the pump to skyrocket. Bachmann, along with five other Republican members of Congress, spoke about the need for action that would lower prices at gas stations nationwide.

During the meeting, Congresswoman Bachmann, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN), Congressman Eric Cantor (VA), Congressman Tom Price (GA), Congressman Adam Putnam (FL), and Congressman Phil Gingrey (GA) spoke about what can be done to lower the price of gas. During the interview, each member of Congress talked about the energy crisis touching up on such issues as domestic oil drilling, nuclear energy, and McCain’s recent high-profile endorsement of offshore drilling.

None of the members at the meeting seemed to believe that the Democratic Congress and the presumptive Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama were taking this issue as seriously as it should be treated.

With that in mind, Congresswoman Bachmann noted her request to the citizens of her home state of Minnesota. She said that “[O]ne thing we have been asking people all over Minnesota is to send me copies of their [gasoline] receipts and any member of Congress would like to receive copies of people’s receipts from their gas bills.” Bachmann’s ultimate goal with the receipts is to take baskets of the receipts that she receives to the door of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to show the speaker the pain that the people of her state have been experiencing and to show the Speaker the seriousness of this major issue.[# More #]

Although no one argued that any one solution would automatically solve the problem, the members of Congress noted how their different plans could benefit the American people. Congressman Tom Price said that even though there was not an easy solution,  “There are a number of things that will- taken together- result in an equation that results in the solution and exploring and utilizing American resources for Americans is one of those areas that will solve this problem.” To those who say that even if offshore drilling began tomorrow, there would not be an effect for several years (an argument that Senator Obama has made), Congressman Phil Gingrey said that the recent decision to increase Saudia Arabia’s production of oil caused a $5 drop in the cost of a barrel of crude overnight. Such a drop or a similar one could also be seen if Congress decides to open up new supplies of oil.

Congresswoman Blackburn, who described the current situation as a “classic supply capacity demand issue”, talked about the energy crisis in the 1970’s, which was not solved by a windfall profits tax (which is currently being advocated by some Democrats). She also reminded the group of President’s Clinton’s 1995 veto of ANWR, which she said restricted supply of domestic oil, a restriction that has caused greater dependence on foreign sources of oil. She said that “[W]e’ve had legislation for the past couple of years that would have addressed much of this and we are hoping that the majority will begin to take some action very soon.”

Until then, as Congresswoman Bachmann advocates, start collecting those receipts…