Rep. Cantor says drilling bills on the way in House

Weeks before the April 2010 oil spill, President Obama announced he would allow some new drilling, much to the chagrin of environmentalists who favored more spending on renewable energy sources. But that plan was nixed after the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Cantor made no mention of the spill Tuesday, but he said families preparing for summer travel needed relief.

"Most families are preparing for a summer that will actually cost them a lot more than what they had anticipated, serving as a tax on all of them," he said.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas Tuesday was $3.97, according to the AAA auto club. There had been some speculation that the death of Osama bin Laden might have an effect on gas prices, but most analysts pointed to continued instability in the Middle East region as the reason prices remain high.

Asked about the likelihood that the drilling bills might stall in the Democratic-controlled Senate or face a veto from Obama, Cantor demurred.

"What we're trying to is deliver results here," he said. "The result needed is lower gas prices. The bills we're bringing to the floor send a direct message to the administration to stop putting blocks in the way of allowing energy production here at home.

"These are things we can do right now — they don't cost any money, and they will have an effect if we can say in this country we are committed to maximizing energy production here at home," Cantor concluded.