Whitsett says new resources needed to curb pain at the pump and in grocery stores

Press release from Senator Doug Whitsett

Whitsett says new resources needed to curb pain at the pump and in grocery stores

Governor ignores plight of Oregon families

Salem, OR — While the Governor turns his back on the economic difficulties in Oregon, Senator Doug Whitsett (R-Klamatha Falls) is calling for an end to the moratorium on off-shore exploration for resources that could provide financial relief to Oregon families.

“Oregon, like the rest of the United States, is one of the most resource-abundant places on the planet, and yet we aren’t managing those resources effectively and Oregon families are struggling to afford gas, milk and healthcare,” said Whitsett. “With today’s technology we can manage off-shore exploration while protecting the environment. This is no longer just a good idea, it is a necessity.”
According to the US Minerals Management Service, the United States currently imports 4.5 billion barrels of oil a year. Exploring the Outer Continental Shelf would produce an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil.

Governor Kulongoski issued a statement Monday opposing a national proposal to fight high fuel costs and dependence on foreign oil by exploring for domestic sources of energy in off-shore deposits. Meanwhile, according to the US Energy Information Administration, the average price of a gallon of gas was $4.40 on Tuesday, $1.20 more than a year ago. On January 4, 2007, when Democrats took control of Congress gasoline averaged $2.33 across the nation.

“Alternative sources of energy and conservation are certainly pieces of the solution, but Oregon families are going to be left with a big bill if we don’t offer some real solutions right now to mitigate their costs at the pump and in the grocery store,” said Whitsett.

The price of food is predicted to increase by as much as 5.5% in 2008, which for Oregon families means they will be paying 10% more at the grocery store than they were two years ago.

Another reason grocery costs have escalated so high over the last two years is a shortage of corn created by the Governor’s so-called “˜clean fuel requirements.’ These mandates are part of the reason milk and bread have reached such stratospheric price ranges.

“Solutions to our energy dependence need to be based on substance, not merely symbolic gestures that only create more problems in the long run,” said Whitsett.

USDA, Economic Research Service: http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/CPIFoodAndExpenditures/
US Energy Information Administration: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.asp
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/15/business/worldbusiness/15food.html?pagewanted=print
The Oregonian: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/business/1215487520291830.xml&coll=7