Fossella: Obama Must Lift Drilling Ban to Curb Gas Prices

Thursday, 12 May 2011 12:04 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Ashley Martella

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President Barack Obama’s assertion that little can be done to extinguish blazing gas prices in the short term is no excuse for ignoring long-term solutions such as increased drilling and energy exploration, former GOP Congressman Vito Fossella tells Newsmax.TV.

“Perhaps on a day-to-day basis, he’s absolutely right, but you can’t do that day after day month after month,” said Fossella, who served in the House for 12 years, including a stint on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“In theory. let’s suppose that one day we decide that we’re not going to have any domestic drilling or any domestic resources whatsoever. The price would spike dramatically,” Fossella said. “Conversely if we look to open up resources and open up increase supply I think over the long haul, you’ll see the price beginning to drop all else remaining equal.”

Story continues below video.

The former Republican congressman from New York, now managing director of the Park Strategies business consulting firm, said it is foolish not to explore options such as lifting the ban on new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico or in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“I think it was a mistake to impose those moratoriums to begin with and now if we want to define where we go as a country particularly as it relates to energy production there has got to be some give and right now there doesn’t seem to be any give which is why I think over the long haul prices unfortunately will remain high if not go higher,” he said in the exclusive Newsmax interview.

Fossella said he never will lose faith in the American people’s ability to create jobs as long as they are given the right tools and the appropriate “balance of taxation and regulation.”

“But as long as the signal from Washington, D.C., is the regulations are fine, the taxes are fine, we’re not going to see the job creation that is necessary to get us out of this recession in sufficient time,” he said. “The way to grow our deficits down and reduce our debt is to truly put more people to work and I’ve haven’t seen the appropriate recipe coming out of Washington that will allow that to happen. In spite of those policies I know so many hard working business owners across this country are trying to just that.”

On other issues, Fossella said:
  • The death of Osama bin Laden was great news, noting that his former constituents on Staten Island and Brooklyn that lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks see his death not so much with joy but “more of a function of closure.”
  • He supports the GOP position that budget cuts must accompany any rise in the national debt ceiling. “Unemployment is too high, the deficits are too high, the debt as it exits is too high and Washington still has a spending problem. So I think Speaker Boehner is exactly right to begin the dialogue, now it’s up to those who just want to raise the debt ceiling without reining in spending to come back with a counter proposal.”
  • Former Massachusetts governor and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney does not have an “insurmountable” problem with Romneycare because the American people respect and accept someone who comes forward and says, “This was a mistake. I learn from my mistakes.”
  • Called Democratic efforts to repeal tax breaks for big oil companies a “red herring,” adding that, if Congress really wanted to go after tax breaks, it should start with a comprehensive reform of the tax code.

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