WASHINGTON, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Charles T. Drevna, president of NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, issued the following statement responding to President Obama's speech today on energy issues:
"President Obama is right to say our nation needs to safely and responsibly develop and produce oil and natural gas in the United States while protecting our environment, and right to say we need to develop a wide range of energy sources for the future. However, he is wrong to believe that the best way to achieve these goals is to impose costly mandates and taxpayer-funded subsidies to pick energy winners and losers.
"American taxpayers can't afford to be burdened with billions upon billions of dollars in taxes to subsidize ethanol, electric cars, and other energy ideas that can't survive in the free market. These endless subsidies only increase the economic pain Americans are suffering, as do the greenhouse gas regulations and similar mandates the Environmental Protection Agency is imposing on our economy that drive up energy costs without improving our environment.
"Instead of adopting a government-led model of command and control, President Obama should let American consumers and the free market determine the energy sources that best meet our economic and national security needs. This is the historic source of America's economic strength.
"America is rich in energy resources, and President Obama and Congress should move to make more of them available to serve the American people. This means allowing more exploration and production of oil and natural gas within our nation and offshore. President Obama should also allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that will enable us to get more oil to serve the American people from our good friend and neighbor Canada.
"President Obama said on March 11: 'We have been having this conversation for nearly four decades now... Every few years, gas prices go up, politicians pull out the same old political playbook, and then nothing changes.'
"America's fuel and petrochemical manufacturers want things to change. We want to work with President Obama and Congress to find solutions to the energy needs of today and tomorrow. Instead of focusing on next week's opinion polls or the next election, we call on our elected leaders from both parties to work with us to focus on the next generation."
SOURCE National Petrochemical & Refiners Association