Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bob Barr Criticizes “Jimmy Carter Era” Energy Mentality, Calls for More Energy Development

“As gas prices have risen, policymakers in Washington have exhibited a Jimmy Carter era mentality,” observes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. “They are upset that Americans use energy, and want government to take over the energy marketplace. But it is government that has left us vulnerable to reduced supplies and higher prices.”

Adds Barr, “legislators denounce speculators, as if people never before attempted to predict future price changes. Politicians criticize oil companies, as if the firms were able to set prices at will. If so, why were prices so low for so long? Most of the so-called solutions being proposed in Congress amount to more regulations and more subsidies, and would make our energy problems worse.”

“One of the worst ideas comes from Republican Sen. John Warner, who wants the federal government to again set a national speed limit. The greatest nonrenewable resource is time, which is why Americans routinely broke the Washington-imposed 55 mph speed limit between 1974 and 1995. Sen. Warner may believe his time is worth nothing, but the Constitution does not empower him and his colleagues to decide how fast people can drive on every road in America. One reason we have state and local governments is to enact traffic laws. That is not the federal government’s responsibility,” explains Barr.

Instead, Congress should get out of the way of energy development. “America’s Outer Continental Shelf is thought to hold some 86 billion barrels of oil. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has some eight billion barrels. Oil shale deposits in America’s west could contain the equivalent of as much as 1 trillion or more barrels of petroleum. It’s time we allowed Americans to develop America’s energy resources,” says Barr.

“Congress also needs to reduce the regulatory barriers to new refinery construction, and change environmental rules which mandate the sale of different formulations of gasoline in different regions,” Barr adds. “These government controls drive up gasoline prices. We couldn’t afford the cost during good times. We certainly can’t afford to pay more for unnecessary regulation now.”

For years “Democrats and many Republicans have blocked responsible energy development in America,” says Barr. “The upcoming election gives the American people a real choice. Instead of voting for Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dumb, they should choose a real alternative: Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party.”

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizen’s right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

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