Monday, June 23, 2008

175 in House sign Westmoreland Pledge

Millions of Americans have signed petitions telling Congress to take action on energy prices. And U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland responded by taking the petition straight to the members of the House.

By Friday, 175 members of Congress signed the Westmoreland Pledge on the floor of the House this week. The pledge reads “I will vote to increase U.S. oil production to lower gas prices for Americans.” Westmoreland looks to add more members in the coming week and hopes more Democratic members will sign on to help Americans pay less at the pump.

“I made this simple so there would be no wiggle room for members of Congress,” Westmoreland said. “I pushed hard all week to get my colleagues to sign the pledge and I’m very happy that we’re closing in on 180 names. We are saying that supplying our energy needs requires ‘all of the above’: conservation, alternative energy development and increased supply of oil.”

Westmoreland’s petition aims to create momentum on Capitol Hill to open up new energy production offshore on the Outer Continental Shelf and on federal lands such as ANWR. Westmoreland further supports building new refineries for the first time in more than 30 years.

“With prices at $4 a gallon, families and businesses are feeling the squeeze. Higher gas prices lead to higher prices for food and every other product that has to travel to a store. Americans are cutting back. Unless Congress takes action, we’re going to erode our American quality of life and our economy is going to grow less and lose good-paying jobs.”

Public opinion surveys indicate that large majorities of Americans believe it is possible to drill for energy in untapped regions of Alaska and deep ocean areas far off the U.S. coast in an environmentally responsible manner, and they support reforms that would allow such drilling to finally begin.

“At least 175 members of the House are saying to the American people, we support ‘all of the above’ when it comes to solving America’s energy crunch,” Westmoreland said. “We need to continue to research and develop alternative fuels. We need to continue conservation efforts. But for right now, we also need more traditional energy sources to bring down the cost of gas to help our economy thrive as we transition into new forms of energy.

“We still have a way to go with our petition. Finding solutions for our energy crunch should be a bipartisan effort and I would like to see more Democrats sign. Their constituents are hurting just as much as mine are. So far, we have one Democrat, my good friend Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii. Neil said to me that he knows more oil production won’t solve the problem, but that it is part of the solution. I think a lot of his colleagues on the other side of the aisle would agree with that assessment, and we hope to get their names on the pledge.”

Westmoreland encourages Americans to sign petitions calling for more energy exploration and to call their members of Congress to ask that they sign the Westmoreland pledge to increase oil production to lower gas prices for Americans. Find the list of all the members of Congress who have signed at

Brian Robinson
Deputy Chief of Staff

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