Gasoline prices, already nearing $4 a gallon across much of the country, will keep soaring to new heights as long as the federal government fails to pursue new energy exploration, Rep. Fred Upton
told Newsmax TV on Friday.
Upton, who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said unrest in the Middle East and North Africa had already driven up prices.
“Let’s face it, it is a supply problem. There’s no question about that. We get a third of our oil from the Gulf. We’re already getting 150,000 barrels less,” the Michigan Republican said.
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Upton said the government’s reluctance to drill in Alaska and refusal to go in on the proposed Keystone Pipeline with Canada would add to the country’s energy problems.
“We’re looking to see gas prices go dramatically higher and as long as we continue to say no to exploration, we’re in duck soup,” he said.
Upton also defended proposed legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emission levels.
“We’ve got to stop the EPA from regulating what they are unable to legislate. That is what our bill does,” he said. “The Congress didn’t authorize you [the EPA] to regulate greenhouse gases.”
He said if the agency were allowed to curb carbon emissions, it would harm U.S. industry and eventually drive jobs overseas.
“If you care about the planet, and we do, why do you want to shut down all these industries?” he said. “We have to say enough is enough.”
He added that the Republican-led Congress would begin stripping what he called “a Sebelius slush fund within Obamacare.”
“In Obamacare there are a whole lot of things that were never authorized,” he said. “They’re just new entitlement programs. We’re beginning now to defund that.”
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