Don Young, Congressman for all Alaska.  News for Immediate Release.  Contact the Press Secretary at (202) 225-2765 for additional information.
May 8, 2008
“I want to make it perfectly clear, I have not, nor do I have any intention of introducing a bill to increase the gas tax.” – Rep. Don Young

Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement from U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) regarding his remarks this week in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee pertaining to increased oil production and the federal gas tax. 

“I have not introduced a gas tax increase and I do not plan to do so.  My comments about the gas tax this week were made during a Transportation and Infrastructure hearing and were part of a discussion about Congressional inaction on our nation’s energy supply emergency.  Congressional hearings like these allow Members an open forum to discuss issues. 

“Right now, Congress under Democratic Leadership is paralyzed.  Under Republican Leadership I passed ANWR in 1995 but it was vetoed by President Clinton.  This week, ANWR was voted down by Democrats in the Natural Resources Committee.  Congress is passing annual moratoria on producing energy from the outer continental shelf.  Congress refuses to amend flawed environmental laws that make it easy for radical environmentalists to tie up development.  Environmental groups are suing to stop leasing in the Beaufort Sea . . . the Chukchi Sea . . . the Rocky Mountain Front.  The U.S. has more than two trillion barrels of oil in shale, more than Saudi Arabia’s total oil reserves, yet our government doesn’t have a fully operational oil shale leasing program.  Faced with today’s energy supply emergency, this is a shame.

“The last time Congress directly opened access to a large oil field to development was when it passed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Act, which opened up North America’s largest energy reservoir.  This was in 1973 – 35 years ago.  Today, hard working Alaskans and Americans are being crushed by the weight of Congressional inaction to produce more energy at home. 

“In summary, Congress is doing nothing to address supply.  My point about raising the gas tax was to draw attention to the fact that if we do nothing to create new supply of energy, then all that is left is to address the demand side of the equation.  Decreasing demand is often addressed through gas taxes. 

“I’m a supply side Congressman first and foremost.  My comments were intended to wake up the hearing and wake up Congress.  We need to open new areas of America to energy production. 

“I want to make it perfectly clear, I have not, nor do I have any intention of introducing a bill to increase the gas tax.”

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