Senator Pat Roberts: Senate Shouldn’t Ignore Energy Costs; Should Immediately Address Domestic Drilling

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today said the Senate should first address the high cost of energy by debating real energy solutions before moving on to other measures, despite efforts from the Majority Leader to sidestep a vote on domestic drilling. Roberts today voted against moving to consideration of other legislation until after the Senate has engaged in an honest, open energy debate on amendments to allow additional drilling and exploration.

"It is critical for our economy and for family budgets across the country that the Congress act now," Senator Roberts said. "We need more domestic energy production from all sources and new technology that increases conservation.

"Instead we are met with partisan games. My friends across the aisle have opposed drilling for new domestic sources of oil for years and have directly contributed to the high prices at the pump. Even when the writing is on the wall that the majority of Americans want the Congress to take the lead and produce more oil domestically, the other side refuses to even have the debate.

"We should stop ignoring the pain at the pump and give this issue the full attention of the U.S. Senate. It is our highest priority as a nation."

Senator Roberts is a cosponsor of the Gas Price Reduction Act. The bill would tap as much as fourteen billion barrels of oil along the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts- more than all U.S. imports from Persian Gulf countries over the last 15 years. The legislation would also open up three times the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia through western state oil shale exploration. The bill encourages alternative sources of energy including plug in electric vehicles through the development of better batteries to maximize electricity range and use less gas. Senator Roberts has also cosponsored legislation to extend tax credits for solar, wind, and other renewable energy production.