Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 11.18.13

Drill, Baby, Drill – Guess What?  It Worked!

Previously, President Obama mockingly described Republicans’ energy strategy as:  “Step one is drill, and step two is drill, and then step three is keep drilling.”

However, regular readers of this column know that simply isn’t the case.  To provide jobs, secure our energy future, and keep costs low, we believe in an all-of-the-above energy policy in which we dig, discover, deregulate, and – yes – drill.  For more, see my Energy webpage at /issues/.

And guess what?  The “drill, baby, drill!” aspect of our energy policy is working.  As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, “U.S. gasoline prices have fallen to their lowest level in nearly 33 months amid a boom in domestic oil drilling …”  The nationwide average price for a gallon of gas is now $3.19, which is the lowest it has been since February 2011.  We still have work to do, because in the week prior to President Obama getting first sworn in to office, gas nationwide averaged around $1.90.  That is why we should continue to explore for more domestic areas where we can drill, and welcome oil from our neighbor and ally to the north, Canada, by approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

Furthermore, according to International Energy Agency estimates, the United States is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia in order to become the world’s top oil producer by 2015 – two years ahead of its prior target year of 2017.  And as President Obama mentioned in his November 16 video address to the nation, “for the first time in nearly two decades, the United States of America now produces more of our own oil here at home than we buy from other countries. “

Of course, drilling for our own domestic oil and natural gas presents us with the opportunity to decrease our dependence on foreign oil and also lower prices at the pump.  But there is more that can be done to tap into our country’s abundant and affordable domestic energy resources.

In addition to our oil and natural gas, other resources like coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass may all play a vital role in securing our energy future.  We just need to have a regulatory environment that will allow and encourage private investments to use all of the above resources.

When I say ‘deregulate,’ I am not saying that we should get rid of all regulations.  Instead we should roll them back to a reasonable level, getting government out of the way and allowing private businesses to more freely explore for and make use of our domestic energy resources.  The various energy companies won’t need taxpayer dollars if we give them a rational regulatory system.

I have said it before, and I will continue to say it: American workers are the very best in the world.  We are experienced, innovative, and hard-working.  When we combine these qualities with our affordable energy resources and get the government out of our way, no other country can compete with us.

Obamacare Enrollment Numbers, In Perspective

For weeks, the Administration tried to lower expectations regarding Obamacare enrollment numbers.  Now we see why:  they recently announced that only 106,185 people enrolled in the health care law in the month of October.  Of those, less than 27,000 selected an insurance plan through the federal website.

To put that in perspective, all 106,185 of those throughout the country who selected a plan last month could attend a race at Bristol Motor Speedway with room to spare: more than 53,800 of the speedway’s seats would be left unfilled!

As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671.  To reach my office by email, please visit my website at


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