Vitter Advocates for Breaking Foreign Dependence on Energy

Gives U.S. Senate floor speech pushing for energy reforms

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter today spoke on the U.S. Senate floor regarding an amendment offered by U.S. Sens. Pete Domenici and Mitch McConnell that would allow for increased exploration and production of oil and natural gas in coastal areas.  Vitter recently introduced a similar amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that would provide for further domestic oil and natural gas production when the price of crude oil reaches a certain level, but that amendment was blocked last week by Democrat Senate leaders.  The Domenici-McConnell amendment failed to pass today, with Democrats overwhelmingly voting in opposition.

         “This amendment is an example of exactly the sort of action we should be taking to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help alleviate some of the suffering felt by Louisianans at the pump by dramatically increasing our energy production.  Unfortunately, the Democrats have once again chosen to stall on an important issue, choosing partisan politics over real solutions and real reform,” Vitter said.

         In recent weeks, Vitter has advocated for significant energy reforms, highlighting the impact that high gas prices and other issues have on Americans from all walks of life. Vitter spoke last week about the need to provide consumers with relief and to secure energy independence, and he discussed the negative effects of taxing oil companies, including the windfall profits tax suggested by some members of Congress.

         “Millions of Americans have IRAs and retirement funds invested in oil stocks, and oil company profits are reinvested in research, exploration and other activities designed to produce cleaner and cheaper energy for the future,” Vitter said.  “These corporations are largely publicly held, with middle-class Americans making up the majority of ownership. The windfall profits tax is not the answer we are looking for – it’s simply another way to place a further burden on American businesses.”

         Several Democrat members of Congress have said they support a proposal that would levy additional taxes on oil companies as a result of profits yielded from rising gas prices.  The tax would limit profits on such companies and is opposed by Vitter and other Republican members.

         “This sort of ‘smoke and mirrors’ is exactly what we’ve come to expect from this partisan Congress,” Vitter said.  “All of this paralysis, inaction and excuses have yielded only soaring energy prices and given the majority of Americans little more than grave concern about our nation’s economic future.  It’s time we took the necessary steps to reduce that concern. The amendment offered today would have provided us with a real opportunity to do so.”