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Harnessing American Resources to Create Jobs and Address Rising Gasoline Prices

Testimony Before the House Committee on Natural Resources

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SOURCE: Center for American Progress

CAP Senior Fellow Daniel J. Weiss testifies before the House Committee on Natural Resources. Read the full testimony (CAP Action)

Chairman Hastings, Ranking Member Markey, and members of the committee, thank you very much for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Daniel J. Weiss. I am a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a tax-exempt organization dedicated to improving the lives of Americans by transforming progressive values and ideas into policy.

High oil and gasoline prices exact a real economic toll on American families, as well as on travel-related businesses. They make everything more expensive, including driving and air travel. Families may take shorter trips to offset higher fuel prices.

Fortunately, we are better able to withstand oil and gasoline price spikes. U.S. gasoline demand is the second lowest since 1997, due to the vehicle fuel economy standards adopted by President Barack Obama in 2009.

We are also producing more of our own oil. The United States imported only 45 percent of our oil in 2011, down from 57 percent in 2008. And the Energy Information Administration determined that in 2011 the United States produced more oil from its federal lands and offshore waters than each of the last three years of the previous administration.

But we still rely too much on a fuel whose price is set on a global market controlled by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a cartel. We remain vulnerable to volatile prices or international events beyond our control. And the price of oil is responsible for nearly three-quarters of the price of gasoline.

CAP Senior Fellow Daniel J. Weiss testifies before the House Committee on Natural Resources. Read the full testimony (CAP Action)

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