U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, and the American Energy Solutions Group, made the following remarks today during a House Republican Leadership press conference:
I was home in Indiana yesterday and people are concerned about jobs, they are concerned about spending and they are deeply concerned about the crisis in the Gulf. The widening environmental crisis in the Gulf is a tragedy. British Petroleum must be held accountable for every dime of impact on our environment, on the families, and on the communities of the region. This administration must also be held accountable.
What is clear across the political spectrum is that this administration was slow to respond to this widening environmental disaster and must be held to account. The American people expect the president to work the problem, not work the media. They expect the president to provide the kind of direct and energetic leadership that the laws adopted after the Exxon-Valdez tragedy contemplate.
That is BP’s well and it is BP’s responsibility to cap it. It is BP’s financial responsibility for the cleanup and the consequences. But that is our coastline and the American people expect the President of the United States and this administration to energetically lead the effort and marshal all resources across the country and across the world to mitigate the impact on our environment and on the families and the communities in the region.
Also, the American people expect that this administration will not use this opportunity to advance their liberal agenda. Our nation wants this president to work the problem not work his liberal agenda on energy. Rahm Emanuel said famously about a year ago that you ‘never want a serious crisis to go to waste.’
And now we hear word that the president is preparing this evening, in the midst of this widening crisis, to use his address to the American people to advance his disastrous national energy tax known as the cap and trade. The American people don’t want this administration to exploit the crisis in the Gulf to advance their disastrous energy policies. We won’t cap that well with cap and trade. We won’t help the families in the region or across this country by raising the cost of energy on every American in the worst economy in 25 years.
We need a new energy policy. House Republicans have offered the American Energy Act. It’s an all of the above approach that says yes to environmentally responsible domestic exploration for oil and natural gas. It says yes to alternative energy sources like wind and solar and nuclear. And says yes to conservation.
But right now, the American people want this administration to focus on putting first things first. To make a priority of capping the well and restraining the flow of that oil to the coastline and leave debates over their liberal policy to the future.