This Energy Bill Fails to Address Domestic Oil Production (Sen. Mitch McConnell)

As the Senate takes up energy again today, let me say at the outset that the proposed bill has some good provisions and it has some troubling ones. But what most concerns Republicans are the issues it doesn’t address at all.

Everyone agrees energy independence is a top priority. America imports nearly 60 percent of its oil, much of it from dangerous and unstable countries that do not have our best interests at heart.

Yet the bill on the floor does nothing to increase domestic production of oil and gas – absolutely nothing. If energy independence is truly a priority, we’ll increase domestic production of oil and gas.

Increasing production at home will lead to greater independence, and it will lead to lower gas prices. The average price of gas has gone from $2.20 to $3.15 a gallon since the Democrats took over the Senate. It’s in danger of going up even more if this bill isn’t amended.

We know gas prices go up as supply goes down. Yet this bill, as written, does nothing either to increase domestic supply or refinery capacity and thus drive down gas prices.

Liberals in Congress have historically blocked both of these efforts. But with the price of gas where it is, this annual gift to the environmental lobby is a luxury we really can no longer afford.

If we’re serious about gas high prices, we’ll increase both domestic production and refining capacity. This bill, as written, does nothing to address either — and therefore nothing to lower gas prices.

Republicans will offer amendments that will fill in the gaps, and give members a chance to do something about energy independence and out-of-control gas prices.

After all, the purpose of an energy bill is to reduce the cost of energy and that’s what Republicans intend to do.