Reports that America posted the largest oil production increase in the world last year – rising more than 1 million barrels – come at a time when gasoline prices have increased for U.S. motorists. Because oil prices are priced globally, the domestic oil boom can’t – and won’t – provide relief for consumers.
Unfortunately, Congress is wasting time passing legislation (HR 2231) that opens more federal areas to new drilling but won’t result in lower prices for American households because it won’t provide enough oil to have a significant impact on the world market.
Consumers need more tools to help avoid exposure to increasingly high gas prices. Real legislative solutions to help families would expand access to mass transit and provide greater incentives for fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles, investments in energy efficiency and rooftop solar technology. Simply expanding access to an increasingly expensive, globally priced commodity like oil may make oil companies and their shareholders wealthier, but it dooms consumers to a future of monetarily and environmentally costly energy.
Give consumers more tools to fight high prices, not corporate gifts and empty political rhetoric like “Drill Baby Drill.”
Tyson Slocum is the director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program.