Thursday, May 15, 2008

King's Opponent Looks To Make Hay Out Of Oil Vote

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, was the only Iowa congressman and one of 25 House members to vote against legislation that would direct the Bush Administration to halt the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to help with consumer prices at the pump.

"I will not be distracted by gimmicks that are made to sound like solutions," King told the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil said through his office. "To lower gas prices, I support more production of oil, natural gas and renewable fuels."

According to the Nonpareil, King criticized the "San Francisco-style liberals" in Congress for opposing efforts to increase energy production.

"We must push back on these San Francisco-style liberals that are running Congress and allow drilling in Alaska and on the outer continental shelf off Florida and Virginia," King told the Nonpareil. "If we did, we could produce at least 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Now, that would lower gas prices."

King's opponent in the fall election, Council Bluffs Democrat Rob Hubler, already is seeking to make the oil reserve vote Wednesday into an issue in western Iowa.

“He was the only Iowan to vote against health care for children, the only Iowan to vote against recommendations by the 9-11 commission to better secure our country, so why not isolate us further from common sense by wanting to deny some relief for those struggling to cope with runaway gas prices,” Hubler said in news release. “I am not saying it is magic bullet to cut costs at the pump, but at least it shows the American people that Washington is doing what it can during this time of economic insecurity.”

“Western Iowa must have Real Representation that encourages our development of renewable fuels; from ethanol to switch-grass to wean us off our oil addiction,” Hubler added. “Unfortunately, I do not see that happening while Steve King just beats the proverbial oil drum for more drilling while he drives, at taxpayer expense, an SUV with the lowest gas mileage, largest carbon footprint, and highest fuel cost of any Congressman in the region.”

Here is CNN on the legislation:

The House of Representatives voted to direct the Bush administration to stop filling the strategic petroleum reserve temporarily in an effort to alleviate increasing gas prices.

Stopping deposits to the petroleum reserve is estimated to save drivers between a penny and 25 cents a gallon.

Both the House and Senate, which voted earlier Tuesday, exceeded the two-thirds vote required to override the president's expected veto: The House vote was 385-25, the Senate vote was 97-1.

President Bush opposes the reserve measure because, he said, limiting supplies to the reserve could have national security consequences in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

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