By Michael O'Brien - 03/31/10 02:04 PM EDT
President Barack Obama's plan to allow expanded offshore oil and gas
exploration won rebuke from the top House Republican on Wednesday.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) dismissed the president's plan as not going far enough in opening up U.S. waters for exploration.
Obama's decision "continues to defy the will of the American people," Boehner said in a statement, pointing to the president's decision to open Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters, while leaving Pacific and many Alaskan waters largely closed to exploration.
"It's long past time for this Administration to stop delaying American energy production off all our shores and start listening to the American people who want an “all of the above” strategy to produce more American energy and create more jobs," the House GOP leader added. "Republicans are listening to the American people and have proposed a better solution – the American Energy Act – which will lower gas prices, increase American energy production, promote new clean and renewable sources of energy, and encourage greater efficiency and conservation."
Obama's allowance of increased exploration is seen as a concession to centrists in his own party and some Republicans in Congress, especially as a tripartisan group of senators work on cobbling together a comprehensive energy and climate bill.
For his part, Boehner tied today's administration decision to potential climate rules under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well.
"At the same time the White House makes today’s announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is plotting a new massive job-killer that the American people can’t afford: a cascade of new EPA regulations that will punish every American who dares to flip on a light switch, drive a car, or buy an American product. Americans simply don’t want this backdoor national energy tax that will drive up energy and manufacturing costs and destroy jobs in our states and local communities," the Ohio Republican said.
Cross-posted from the Briefing Room