Americans for Prosperity take their Running on Empty tour to Sarasota in hopes of trimming regulations for oil drilling listen08/11/11 Janelle Irwin
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A conservative group was in Sarasota yesterday to spread the message that regulations passed by the Obama administration are directly contributing to the high price of gasoline. About 25 people – mostly Tea Party supporters – came to the Running on Empty tour event.
Standing in front of an inflatable gas tank displaying a price of $3.65 per gallon, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips placed the blame for high gas prices on President Obama.
Americans for Prosperity’s website calls on supporters to send Obama an $8.6 million bill. That’s how much money they say Obama’s regulations are costing drivers over the next 12-months at the pump. The highest price on record occurred in July of 2008, before Obama was even elected. Americans for Prosperity’s state director, Slade O’Brien said the Obama administration isn’t just suffering from market setbacks; they are actively increasing the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
He even went so far as to say President Obama and energy secretary Steven Chu want higher oil prices.
O’Brien was referring to statements made by Chu in March, when he said he was “developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices” but that “the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up because of supply and demand”. But, in an interview with WMNF’s Rob Lorei, Tyson Slocum of the advocacy group Public Citizen said oil prices wouldn’t be affected by an increase in drilling.
Slocum said that supporters of offshore drilling are grasping at straws in their assertion that more drilling will mean lower prices at the pump.
But Sarasota Tea Party member Joel Strom didn’t think that was enough. He said if there’s drilling in the U.S., this country would determine the price regardless of what the world market says. He also believes there is more than enough oil in the United States to sustain our fuel needs.
Many of Obama’s regulations that are barring companies from drilling without limits were implemented following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, said many regulations have nothing to do with that event. He claims the spill was an excuse for the current administration to further their agenda to expand renewable energy.
The organizers came with enough barbeque to feed at least twice as many people that showed up, but said they would not let a small turnout deter their goal to encourage voters to support a conservative, pro-drilling candidate in 2012.