House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) criticized Democrats for voting against legislation to enhance oil refinery capacity last year.
Today, Capitol Hill Democrats have a choice: They can either back up their rhetoric and act to address America’s energy concerns or once again say "No" and continue their chronic negligence on energy policy.
Last year the House passed the Gasoline for America's Security Act (H.R. 3893), comprehensive legislation to encourage new refinery capacity and ban price-gouging – yet EVERY Democrat voted against the proposal. And they wonder why we have high energy prices?
Boehner went on to discuss energy legislation that will be considered on the House floor today.
The House will consider two bills today that were developed by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Reps. Charles Bass (R-NH) and Heather Wilson (R-NM), among others.
First, the House will consider legislation to encourage new refining capacity in order to increase gasoline supplies and drive down high prices.
A new refinery has not been built in the U.S. since 1976, and that fact alone has made it nearly impossible for American energy supply to keep pace with demand. And when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck it further exposed the weaknesses in our refinery capacity. The numbers don’t lie, and Chairman Barton recently put it all into perspective:
“In 1981, there were 324 operating refineries in the boundaries of the United States. Today there are 148. Do the math.