Democrats to Clinton: Stop Exporting U.S. Oil

July 7, 2008 - 7:25 PM

Washington ( - House Democrats urged President Clinton Thursday to reinstate the ban on Alaskan oil exports, saying that the measure would have an immediate effect on escalating gas prices, now approaching $2 per gallon.

"As gas prices continue to soar and American oil reserves continue to be exported to Asian countries, we must use every available tool to bring this economic crisis under control," Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) told

Baird was joined in his plea for Clinton to reinstate the Alaskan Oil Export Ban, passed by Congress in 1995, by House Democratic colleagues Lois Capps and George Miller both of California, Peter DeFazio of Oregon and House Minority Whip David Bonior of Michigan.

Meanwhile, House Republicans George Radanovich and James Rogan, both of California, were also critical of President Clinton for his continuing "inaction in the face of skyrocketing gas prices."

Rogan said Thursday, "The Clinton-Gore Administration has failed to address the dramatic rise in gas prices. Instead of offering to cut the 4.3 cent tax per gallon of gas that the Administration imposed on American drivers, it has kept silent."

He added, "In the meantime, American commuters, truckers and oil dependent industries have suffered. In 1993, Vice-President Gore cast the tie-breaking vote to impose the 4.3 cent tax per gallon on gas at the pump."

In February Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan told the Senate Banking Committee that rising oil prices could slow American economic growth. "...even as we have experienced a very dramatic reduction in the importance of oil in our economic production, it's still a large enough and pervasive enough force within our economy that should we get one of these very severe spikes, it would have a major negative impact on economic growth."