Pelosi and Reid's Big Choice: Lower Gas Prices or Go on a Five Week Vacation?

It’s almost August, the time each year when many American families go on vacation. But if you’re like many Americans, you’re crunching the numbers and realizing this year’s vacation won’t be like recent years past. The cost of gasoline and its spillover effect on the price of food – and, well, everything else – has left your family with less money to spend. That’s why over half of Americans are reconsidering taking vacation this summer to save money.

It’s against this backdrop that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of the leadership in Congress will have to make a big choice.

With so many Americans skipping vacation this summer because of the high cost of gas, should Congress get to go on a five week vacation without doing anything about it?

The American Energy Act: “All of the Above”

Last week, House Republicans introduced a comprehensive energy legislation called the American Energy Act.

The American Energy Act is the sort of “all of the above” energy solution the American people want, one that allows for the development of American oil to lower gas prices and free us from foreign sources of oil, but also recognizes that oil must be used as a bridge to a much more diversified energy portfolio for America.

Passing the bill would not only allow the development of more American energy resources from the outer-continental shelf, oil shale, and the Arctic coastal plane, it would cut red tape that blocks the development of new refineries, provide tax incentives and prizes to reward energy conservation and efficiency, and promote renewable and alternative energy technologies.

But if Nancy Pelosi has anything to do with it, the bill will never even come to a vote.

Nancy Pelosi and Her Anti-Energy Allies: “None of the Above”

Last week, the US Geological Survey issued a report that showed there are an estimated 90 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic. One third of that oil is in Alaskan territory, but it is currently illegal to access most of it due to the offshore drilling moratorium imposed by Congress.

Furthermore, a recent Fox News poll shows that the American people now favor “increasing oil in the United States immediately” (75%), including offshore (71%) and “in a small area of the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge” (54%).

But despite the increasingly overwhelming reasons to “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less”, Nancy Pelosi and her anti-energy allies in the House are countering the House Republicans’ “all of the above” energy proposal with a “none of the above” energy stonewall.

They want to leave Washington this Friday having done nothing to lower gas prices. They won’t even allow a vote on the American Energy Act.

And let’s be clear. None of their reasons for burying the American Energy Act have to do with the merits of the bill.

Don’t Buy the Left’s Drilling “Leftonomics”

The Left has offered all sorts of arguments for why they oppose drilling, including reasons why producing more American oil will not lower gas prices. These arguments are bunk, and the American people know it.

In last week’s newsletter, I linked to a study by two economists that argued allowing drilling in ANWR would produce an immediate drop in oil prices even if the oil did not enter refineries for several years. The study was rejected for publication in The Energy Journal, not because the editors disagreed with their findings, but because they considered the study’s conclusion so obvious that it was not worth publishing.

This week, noted American Enterprise Institute economist Kevin Hasset confirmed what we already know – drilling now would lower prices immediately:

If exploration can be expected to be successful and significantly increase oil production in the future, then it would cause producers to revise downward their estimates for future prices. This would increase the attractiveness of extracting more today. As producers respond with higher production, prices today would drop.

Read the full article here.

So why is Nancy Pelosi preventing votes that would allow for the production of more American oil – which would have the likely effect of lowering our gas prices today?

Don’t Tolerate the Left’s Drilling “Leftopolitics”

If the American Energy Act were allowed to come up for a vote and it passed, it would infuriate the left-wing environmental lobby that opposes all new American oil production.

And if the bill were allowed to come up for a vote and Nancy Pelosi and her anti-energy allies could corral enough votes to defeat it, those Representatives would then have to explain their votes to an angry constituency with an election in less than 100 days.

Even the Washington Post can see through this debased power politics. In an editorial last week, they asked:

When they took the majority, House Democrats proclaimed that “bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the Minority the right to offer its alternatives.” Why not on drilling?

It’s a good question, and one we should ask all of our Representatives.

Call Your Representatives, Insist They Vote to Lower Gas Prices before Going on Vacation

Our Representatives have a simple choice to make.

With so many Americans cancelling their vacation this summer because of high gas prices, should Congress get to go on a five week vacation without doing anything about it?

Call your Representatives today and insist they do two things.

  1. Make it clear to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid they won’t support ending the legislative session without passing legislation to lower gas prices.
  2. And in the House, push Nancy Pelosi to allow a vote on the American Energy Act.

Americans deserves to know where their Representatives stand on this vital piece of legislation, and it’s obscene to allow the bill to languish while so many Americans are suffering under the weight of high gas prices.

Also, we’re at over 1.3 million signatures in American Solutions “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” petition. But it will take more.

If you’re one of the 1.3 million who have signed so far, please consider sending it to ten of your friends. It’s

The Left has had a stranglehold on America’s energy future for too long and thanks to your efforts it’s now beginning to break. It’s now time to increase the pressure on the Left to allow a common-sense energy policy that uses all of our American energy sources.

A Serious Look at American Educational Competition

If you haven’t seen this eye-opening video about the degree to which American children are ill-prepared to compete in the global marketplace, you should watch it now.

The video is a preview for a film called Two Million Minutes, named for the average amount of time a student spends in high school. So how are students in America spending those two million minutes? And how are students in India and China spending them?

To get an idea, visit the film’s website. There you can take what producer Bob Compton calls “The Third World Challenge,” a shortened version of the 10th grade proficiency exam Indian students must take to pass. He developed the challenge after a Harvard education professor blithely dismissed his film by saying, “We have nothing to learn from education systems in Third World countries.”

So how do you measure up to a “third world” 10th grader? How would your child measure up? And if America doesn’t wake up, how long does America have as the top economic power in the world?

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S. — Thank you to all those who have contributed to the Tony Snow Family Trust, a project of the Center for Health Transformation to help Tony’s wife Jill with education and expenses of their three children, Kendall, Robbie, and Kristi. For more information and to donate, click here.