February 3, 2006- Reaction to the Administration's Clarification on the President's Vow to Decrease U.S. Oil Dependency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce and Resources Committees, reacted to yesterday’s Administration statements backing away from the president’s vows in his State of the Union address to decrease U.S. dependency on Middle Eastern oil. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman yesterday reportedly urged reporters not to take the President literally when he pledged to decrease U.S. oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent by 2025. 


“It appears that the President’s senior energy advisors had a Saturday Night Live ‘Emily Litella’ moment in which they essentially said, ‘Never Mind’ to the President’s signature initiative in the State of the Union speech,” said Rep. Markey.

Markey added, “Apparently, the President’s goal of actually reducing Middle Eastern oil imports into the U.S. is not to be taken literally.

“This just adds to the skepticism of a public which has been told by this president since 2001 that he would reduce dependence on foreign oil, but has then proceeded to adopt energy policies that squander precious tax dollars and fail to get the job done.  Our dependence on foreign oil has grown from 55 percent to 61 percent under this President, and it is apparent that he has no plans to turn this around any time soon.

“Today’s statements by the Administration only further cement the belief that the president’s promises were hollow,” continued Rep. Markey. “The American people are suffering under high gas and energy prices and deserve more than empty promises. They deserve real action and a sincere plan. The Democratic Party has set a concrete and achievable goal of completely eliminating imports from the Middle East within 10 years.

“If the President were serious about reducing our Middle Eastern imports, he would immediately back proposals to increase the average fuel economy of our cars, trucks and SUVs to 34 miles per gallon in the short-term and up to 40 miles per gallon over the longer-term, and would back legislation that I have introduced mandating that within 10 years all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. be flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on ethanol.”

For more information on Rep. Markey’s work on energy policy or information on his flex-fuel vehicle mandate, check out http://markey.house.gov/

February 3, 2006


CONTACT: Tara McGuiness
Jeff Duncan
Morgan Gray