OTR Interviews

Are Obama Energy Policies Raising Gas Prices?

Congressional committee wants to get to the bottom of gas spike

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 23, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: How high will they go? Gas prices are not creeping up, they are moving up, full speed in some places. Why? Congressman Darrell Issa points the finger at the White House and President Obama. Tomorrow morning he chairs a hearing on Capitol Hill. He joins us. Good evening, sir.

REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE: Good evening thanks for having me back, for this clearly important subject.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why are gas prices going up?

ISSA: Because we are not doing anything to drive them down. It has been that way for a number of years. We are not causing new development of new energy sources. We're trying to push back advances being made in North Dakota and other areas. Very clearly we are living up to Stephen Chu and president Obama's predictions and desire to get us to $8 gasoline. They said it before and doing it now.

VAN SUSTEREN: What could be done to bring the prices down and how quickly? Some people drive, 30, 40, 50 miles to work one way. Everyone eats so people need the trucking prices to be reasonable so it is not passed on to food.

ISSA: Most important thing for oil futures to reflect a downward trend. If we've got 40 percent new oil and natural gas coming online in the next two, three, four years, it drives down the future markets by large amounts. Big benefit when prices go down when the expectation is for plentiful amounts.

Secondly, if you have $200 billion more federal tax revenue and $400 or $500 billion less expenditures out of the country you have a huge amount of jobs created. Remember, domestic oil and natural gas production is as much about jobs, here that allows people to afford that drive as it is about the actual cost of the fuel.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, what exactly -- hearings what do you hope to accomplish?

ISSA: One of the things we are going to feature is up in North Dakota in the last four years we've had 1,000 fold increase in oil production. There's now over a quarter million barrels a day produced. Yet that type of technology what you would call lateral and advanced fracking is being driven down by every effort made by this administration.

More importantly, we are going to debunk the myth that somehow oil companies sit on leases when in fact, a lease is not a drilling permit. It is not an operating well. It is the time to market that has is being pushed up by moratoriums, court battles that the administration has always lost. But we've lost time. Up in Alaska Shell lost a year because of an unreasonable delay created by this administration.

VAN SUSTEREN: May I put in a special request that you look into the fact that Cuba is doing offshore drilling 70 miles from the United States. And we don't know -- they don't have quite the safety mechanisms that we have and they are doing it in conjunction with Chinese rigs. Are you looking in that at all?

ISSA: We are looking at it carefully because they are drilling right on the line, as close as they can to our waters and moving back. With lateral drilling they may be drilling many miles into the U.S. As you said they are not living up to global standards. If they have an accident we could and should make sure we prevent we are going to pay just as heavy a price and unlikely to get compensation.

VAN SUSTEREN: And we don't have diplomatic relations they are not going to ask for help and we are not going to offer. I hope you take a look at that. I'm going to take the last word on that, thank you.

ISSA: Thanks, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Make sure to watch "On the Record" this Friday night. We have a special show on America's gas crisis. Friday night right here "On the Record."