U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy said Thursday he asked House leaders to bring a comprehensive energy package that includes expanded offshore drilling to a vote in the near future.
Murphy, D-5th District, said in a press statement that he sent a letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, asking Democratic leaders to find a compromise with Republicans and pass an energy bill. Murphy previously rejected calls for increased offshore drilling.
"It has become clear that without a compromise on some increased, sensible offshore drilling, we will not be able to move forward on ideas that will make us truly energy independent," Murphy said. "We have to work together to negotiate a common-sense solution to help consumers, who can't afford the bickering."
He added expanded offshore drilling won't solve the energy crisis, but the issue shouldn't bar Congress from passing energy legislation.
State Sen. David Cappiello, R-Danbury, who is challenging Murphy for the 5th District congressional seat, issued his own press statement Thursday, calling out the congressman for flip flopping on the issue.
"Murphy's election-year conversion on offshore drilling is a day late, a dollar short, and totally disingenuous," Cappiello said. "His latest flip flop proves he cannot be trusted to address America's energy crisis unless he is dragged kicking and screaming to do so."
This is just more nonsense from a politician taking his cues from Nancy Johnson's dishonest playbook.
Murphy never flip-flopped on offshore drilling...in fact, I blogged about this very topic back in July when Murphy held a press conference in New Britan and in Danbury (right by Cappiello's house).
Let's take a peek back in time and look at my post from July:
Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to videotape Congressman Murphy's presser today in New Britain. That being the case, when it comes to the high price of gas, while I strongly agree with one portion of Murphy's stance in his latest press release...“While energy traders on Wall Street artificially inflate the price of a barrel of oil, Connecticut families are paying the price at the pump. Until we wean ourselves off of our addiction to oil, we’ve got to crack down on the market that is distorting the price of oil and hurting our economy,” said Murphy.
Murphy is supporting legislation that aims to restore the fundamentals of supply and demand to the oil markets, ending rampant speculation in the energy commodities markets which place a distorted premium on the price of oil. Since 2000, investment in oil futures has increased more than 2,600%, from $9 billion to $250 billion. In testimony before House and Senate Committees, Energy Information Administration (EIA) officials and private sector experts have agreed that speculation has driven up the cost of a barrel of oil. Last week, Murphy voted to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) emergency powers to curb speculation. The House is expected to continue debate on this issue in July.
I'm somewhat lukewarm when it comes to calls for an increase in drilling (although I understand the Congressman's point).With average gas prices in Connecticut at $4.37 a gallon and rising, Murphy is also supporting legislation to call on the oil and gas industry to drill on the 68 million acres of public lands currently under oil company control but unexplored.
Last week, Murphy voted for H.R. 6251, the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act – more commonly known as the “Use It or Lose It” bill – which would deny oil and gas companies any new federal leases until they demonstrate they are active in developing oil exploration on the 68 million acres they’ve already leased. Most offshore and onshore oil and gas is already available to be drilled. According to federal government surveys, 82% of the gas available offshore and 79% of the oil offshore is available for leasing – enough land to produce 86 billion additional barrels of oil. The measure has not yet passed the House because of Republican opposition.
“We can’t drill ourselves out of this problem – but the fact is there is land and offshore resources currently available to the oil and gas industry, and they aren’t using it while they know that Connecticut families are paying skyrocketing prices at the pump,” said Murphy
Although Congressman Murphy's call is better than the ridiculous notion to drill in the ANWAR refuge in Alaska, the bulk of the energy crisis has nothing to do with supply and demand. The origins of this fiasco stems from speculation and greed from energy companies that were allowed to run amok with the help of what's called the "Enron loophole".
Now, I could do a huge write-up on this but recently Keith Olbermann did a excellent report on the history of the Enron loophole that's better than anything I could type.
Watch and learn.
As Olbermann notes, and as several people testified in Congress, close the loophole and most of your problem goes bye-bye and greedy oil companies' record profits will become a thing of the past. Increase drilling simply makes no sense when a majority of the problem comes from speculation as opposed to supply and demand.
And why would you want in increase in the production of oil? Shouldn't we be talking about this country getting off it's dependency of oil? What makes more sense, cars that get 100 MPG (which is available NOW), or cheaper gas, a return to the arrogant SUV era, and back to business as usual? I'd rather deal with the speculators that brought us such goodies as the power shortage in California and hopefully Congressman Murphy will focus on this problem before even thinking about an increase in drilling.
Offshore drilling is simply a joke....PERIOD. Cappiello's latest garbage is simply that...garbage. According to federal government surveys, 82% of the gas available offshore and 79% of the oil offshore is available for leasing – enough land to produce 86 billion additional barrels of oil YET Cappiello's spinning this latest attack because he really has nothing else to offer.
The Republicans banned offshore drilling under Ronald Regan's watch and you didn't hear a peep from the GOP back then. On the other hand, the State Republicans under John Rowland and David Cappiello's watch sat back and allowed the residents of Connecticut suffer under one of the highest state gas tax in the country.
Lowering the gas tax would have an instant impact in Connecticut...where's Cappiello's so-called "leadership" on this matter in the last 10 years?
Cappiello's fooling no one...