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US Rep. Bill Flores Expects Outcry Over Gasoline Prices

Higher gasoline prices will likely prompt Americans to demand that the federal government provide more access to oil and natural gas reserves onshore and offshore, a former oil industry executive and new member of the U.S. Congress said Sunday. He made his comments to Platts Energy Week television.

U.S. Representative Bill Flores, a Republican from central Texas, compared the situation today, with unusually high gasoline prices, with that in 2008 when U.S. gasoline prices hit $4 per gallon in some areas and public outcry persuaded Congress and the Bush administration to drop government restrictions on offshore drilling.

“You saw a public outcry for improved accessibility to oil and gas properties,” Flores said.  “The theme was, ‘Drill here, drill now’. . . I think now that we’re seeing higher prices, the American public is going to say we’ve had enough of the silliness regarding regulatory slowdowns and removing public areas from access.”

Flores retired in 2009 as CEO of Phoenix Exploration, a Houston-based oil and gas company, to run for Congress. He has 30 years of experience in the industry.

The average retail price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. increased for the fifth straight week, advancing nearly two cents to $3.07, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a January 5 report. That is 41 cents more than same period last year.

As a member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, Flores will have a say in how the Republican-led House treats Obama administration policies affecting industry access to oil and gas on federal lands and in offshore waters. The administration was planning to invite consideration of drilling in areas off the Atlantic and Alaska coasts where development was banned until 2008, until BP’s Macondo well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 workers and resulting in the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Flores, like many of his Republican colleagues and even some Democrats, believes the administration overreacted to the incident with reviews and new regulations that have stalled new drilling in the Gulf. “If you look at the history of the oil and gas business for the last 30 years, prior to Macondo, we had no serious spills,” he said. “That goes to safety, the ability of the industry to operate in a safe manner. The Macondo incident was very unfortunate. I wish it hadn’t happened. But hopefully we can learn from it and go on.” Click here to access the full Flores interview.

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6 thoughts on “US Rep. Bill Flores Expects Outcry Over Gasoline Prices

  1. To date, there are no viable ways to clean up an oil spill in artic waters.
    According to the oil industry,the Williston Basin has oil there then anything we could pull out of the ocean So – let’s leave it alone to heal.

  2. The drilling will happen…you know it will. But it don’t get it. Every auto manfacturer is coming our with EVs. Why do we need more?

    But ya know Mr Flores, if you think gas prices will be an outcry, wait until it is water…
    Have a nice day.

  3. This is absolutely ridiculous. We all need to make the painful transition to become less dependent on oil. Drilling more is not the answer. It’s like giving a whining child whatever he/she is whining for. It only mollifies the child momentarily and worsens long-term behavior.

  4. What a bunch of cry babies..China, Russia,Venezuela and other countries are drilling in the gulf now just outside our drill line. We need the oil out there but we still the refineries to convert the oil. We need more refineries now. Get rid of the environmental department, we never voted for them.. w./o them the country would run a lot smoother. All these regulations just justify their jobs. Countries w/o them are doing well. remember the biggest fear is of our own

  5. wes, I say get rid of the taxpayer-funded subsidies given to the oil & coal industries, we never voted for them.. w/o them, this country would be alot better off. All that wasted taxpayer money just lines the pockets of the already rich – ExxonMobil, Shell, etc. Remeber the biggest fear should be of our own interference in Earth’s natural climate.

    We need to get off oil. The sooner, the better. We don’t need new refineries – we need to accelerate our push for alternative vehicles and alternative sources of all our energy.

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