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.

"Tyson Slocum" "commodity disclosure"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.

Sign up to receive a weekly email highlighting the best from Public Citizen’s blogs.


  • Anonymous

    If the US would just stop subsidizing fossil fuels, the people would all clearly see that it is actually more expensive than alternative fuels. And as far as the “high gasoline prices” go, the US has some of the cheapest gas in the world. When I hear people complaining about how “Obama is making our gas prices go up”, I politely inform them of this fact.

  • SAL3

    Good Points all and becoming stronger every day. The problem facing us is the apparent difficulty in penetrating commercial media in order to create more general understanding of these facts.

  • Roberta Dees

    So what we need is a campaign to keep HR 2231 from passing. Where is a petition to sign when you need one?!? Will Public Citizen start one for us?

  • Even if “big oil” produced a surplus of petroleum in the U.S. they would export that oil rather than see it used to reduce gasoline prices. The petroleum executives and their cronies in Congress also continue to work to deter development of the most promising alternative energy options. As an example, the U.S. has over 60 million acres of insect-killed timber that could be converted into biofuels. My own tube-type algalculture system (patent pending) can produce massive quantities of algal lipids that could be made into algal-biodiesel. These tubes are used on desert/ waste lands, and water is provided from the nearest available source; e.g. in Kenya we would produce on desert lands using water from Lake Turkana and the Tana River. Big oil is working to keep such projects from being funded.

  • […] central to their strategy is moving this oil out of America and into more lucrative global markets. But what’s good for Big Oil isn’t OK for households and small businesses, as there will be a net job loss from exports, with any additional oil jobs trumped by losses […]

Leave a Comment

© Copyright . All Rights Reserved.