U.S. District 13 Congressman Mac Thornberry was in Wichita Falls on Wednesday for the final day of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Expo at the MPEC.
We asked the Congressman about the current high cost of gas with the national average approaching $4.00 a gallon. He said Congress was working to pass a bill that would allow for more oil drilling in the US that will free up more resources that don't come from the Middle East. Thornberry said the markets are watching to see what the government is doing with energy.
"They're watching to see if we're going to do more to produce energy or do less, and so it could have an immediate impact on markets if they see that we're going to open up for example some of the area's of the gulf that have been closed to drilling since the BP spill," said Congressman Thornberry.
We also asked the Congressman today about President Barack Obama's push to repeal oil industry tax breaks. The President says that will free up $4 billion a year to invest in alternative energy in an effort to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil. Congressman Thornberry says it's a "smokescreen".
"If you can find somebody to blame it's an attempt to distract people's attention from the consequences of the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the other agencies of his administration have done. It's a mistake and I don't think people are going to be fooled," Congressman Thornberry said.
Thornberry also told us today that those breaks go to independent oil producers in the U.S. that we need and that the Obama administration has "declared war" on fossil fuels since day one.
During our time with the Congressman we wanted an update on the FEMA Disaster Declaration request that has been submitted in relation to the Firestorm Across Texoma.
He told us, "We're gonna keep pushing to get that done, as I say quickly. It doesn't all have to be decided, but once you get that initial Disaster Declaration then it can be amended and other needs can be added on, but getting that first one is important."
Congressman Thornberry did tell us that a conference call was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon on the FEMA Declaration. Texas Governor Rick Perry and both U.S. Senators from Texas have asked FEMA for a Declaration.
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