Jan 31, 2006- Kaptur Statement on President Bush's State of the Union Address
"In his State of the Union address tonight, he discussed reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil. Sadly, he is at least 6 years late, with his recent special interest energy bill just a throwback to the last century when big oil dominated. His budgets have prevented our nation from moving into a new energy age. For hard hit consumers, he has offered nothing but bigger profits for the oil giants, like Exxon Mobil that just racked up the largest profits in U.S. history today. Indeed their $36.13 billion in profits in just one year is larger than the entire budget of the U.S. Energy Department at $23.4 billion.
"During the Bush Administration, big oil companies and gas companies not only have reaped record profits but received billions in new tax subsidies. Yet our consumers and farmers are struggling to get by. Home heating costs are 25 percent higher this winter and the average price for a gallon of gas has increased 89 cents since President Bush took office. So, the President's proposals tonight appear to be more of the same empty promises we've heard before.
"Over the years this President has consistently proposed cutting alternative fuels programs that could replace our reliance on imported petroleum. Last year he proposed cutting $64.5 million in the Department of Agriculture's already limited budget for biofuels. Two years ago he proposed cutting these programs $72 million. Three years ago he proposed cutting $70 million.
"It's far past time for a President of the United States to power a new future for our nation by putting our revenues in the pockets of local farmers and fuel processors, not in the hands of foreign oil regimes that he himself calls "unstable". We must not wait any longer to help future generations when we have the ability today to build a new domestic renewable energy industry that will create thousands of jobs and provide an economic opportunity for our farmers, as well as a new product for our transport industry. The proof that President Bush is serious this time will be if alternative fuels are placed centerfold in the budget he will release next week.
"Biodiesel and other alternative fuels require a national commitment, not just in word but in deed. America needs an energy policy that invests in the Midwest, not the Middle East."