WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement today after every single Democrat on the Interior Appropriations subcommittee voted to keep in place a policy that has kept billions of barrels of American oil and trillions of cubic feet of American natural gas off-limits to American consumers for nearly 30 years:
"In voting to keep America's vast deep-sea energy reserves under lock-and-key, Democrats on the subcommittee today may have been voting in line with their leadership - but they certainly weren't voting in line with the 104 million American families struggling to make ends meet in a world of $135 oil, $4.05 gasoline, and nearly $5 diesel.
"What these politicians fail to understand is that these abundant deep-sea energy resources don't belong to Congress - they belong to the American people. Unfortunately, for the last 27 years, Congress has prevented the American public from accessing them - and today's outrageous energy prices are in part the result of it.
"No other country in the world would even dream of locking away their most abundant energy reserves in an era of record-breaking energy prices. Leave it to this Congress to be this out of touch with the needs and interests of the American people."
NOTE: The Peterson amendment to the FY09 Interior appropriations bill failed 6 to 9, with every Democrat voting against the provision, and all Republicans voting in support. Democratic members of the subcommittee include: Norman Dicks (Wash.), James Moran (Va.), Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.), John Olver (Mass.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Ed Pastor (Ariz.), Dave Obey (Wisc. - ex officio), and Alan Mollohan (W.Va.), who switched to "No" this year after voting in support in previous years.
SOURCE House Republican Whip Roy Blunt