Roby calls for better energy plan
Congress and the administration are partly to blame for not easing rising gas prices, Alabama Republican Rep. Martha Roby said in delivering her party's response to President Barack Obama's weekly radio address on Saturday.
Roby said Congress needs to enact House-passed GOP bills that aim to increase energy production, including measures that would speed the permitting process for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, according to an advance transcript of her remarks.
"When we're talking about energy, we're talking about jobs," Roby said. "The cost of energy is directly related to the cost of hiring workers and running a business."
In his radio address, Obama said the administration will extend leases to drill in areas of the Gulf of Mexico that had been temporarily closed off to drilling after last year's massive oil spill.
"I believe that we should expand oil production in America, even as we increase safety and environmental standards," Obama said.
He wants Congress to end tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, saying Americans "shouldn't be subsidizing oil companies at a time when they're making near-record profits."
Gulf Coast lawmakers say last year's six-month drilling moratorium, which was designed to give federal officials time to review safety regulations, hurt the region's economy.
In her response to the president's address, Roby also said Congress must reduce spending and not increase taxes on businesses.
"We cannot tax the same people we expect to create jobs," she said, according to the transcript. "That is a recipe for keeping people out of work. ''
Roby also thanked the nation for praying for victims of last month's tornadoes in Alabama.