Cornyn: Taxing, Regulating & Lawsuits Will Not Lower Prices At The Gas Pump

Questions Majority’s Continued Opposition to Strengthening Domestic Energy Production

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, made the following statement today regarding the Democrat leadership’s plan to further increase gas prices and America’s dependence on foreign oil. This legislation, S.3044 which focused on raising taxes and suing OPEC, was defeated in the Senate this morning.

“Congress can pass or change many laws, but it cannot repeal the law of supply and demand. With soaring demand in countries like China and India, and an insufficient amount of oil worldwide, we need to do more to encourage American energy solutions. That means more energy production in America, sensible conservation, and the pursuit of more efficient energy sources.

“Senate Democrats acknowledged as much when they voted last month to put a temporary hold on the government’s filling of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. So it is astonishing that they would continue to oppose a common-sense plan to strengthen energy production here at home. Using our own energy resources could provide roughly three million barrels of oil per day. That is more than 42 times as many barrels as we can save by ceasing to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.

“In contrast, I challenge my Democratic colleagues, and those who support this tax-and-sue bill, to tell families in my home State of Texas just how their plan to tax, regulate and sue would produce just one more drop of oil. The reality is that it will not. Rather, it would drive gas prices even higher and make America even more dependent on foreign oil.

“The basic laws of economics tell us that when you tax something you get less of it. History is also our guide. In 1980, Congress implemented a windfall profits tax on oil companies, as this bill seeks to do, and it only made the situation worse. The Congressional Research Service found that the tax reduced domestic oil production by between 3 percent and 6 percent and increased oil imports from OPEC by between 8 percent and 16 percent.

“While some of my colleagues may be content to demand Saudi Arabia fix our supply problems, I would much rather we take our future in our own hands, and start producing our own energy here at home.

“American families are struggling with high gas prices and certain industries, including in Texas, are starting to lay off workers. Opponents of domestic production are running out of excuses. It’s time for Congress to act and act now.”