WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Bush spoke at the Renewable Fuels Summit 2006 in Washington:
"It is clear that the one thing this Administration and Republican Congress will never be accused of is having foresight. The Washington Republicans' lack of imagination and failure to craft a real energy strategy over the last five years has helped ensure that Americans would pay a very high price at the gasoline pump today.
"You would think that the President - a former oil company executive who presumably has an understanding of the oil industry and our energy needs - would have insisted years ago that we address this energy vulnerability by enacting a comprehensive, proactive strategy. Instead, he has simply failed to lead, allowing this crisis to bear down on American consumers.
"With their poll numbers hitting rock bottom, Washington Republicans are only now scrambling to address this critical issue out of political desperation and ironically they are now embracing many of the proposals that Democrats have been advocating for years. But the fact is, the Republicans' nonexistent energy strategy is another example of inexcusable incompetence.
"Democrats believe it is imperative that we address our nation's energy needs through a proactive strategy that makes it easier to stop price gouging, to increase production by expanding refining capacity, to promote alternative energy sources, and to rollback billions in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that are making record profits."