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As higher fuel prices take more and more money from family budgets and businesses bottom lines, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is backing legislation that would decrease prices at the pump.

“The U.S. imports too much oil from foreign nations that don’t even like us. We need to increase supply,” said Enzi.

Enzi is a co-sponsor of S. 953, the Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011, that would increase oil production in the Gulf of Mexico in an expeditious and environmentally responsible manner.

“If Congress took action in 1997 when I first came to the Senate to open up areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge we would be producing approximately 1 million more barrels of domestic oil today. With high oil prices, we have an opportunity to act today and we should not let this opportunity pass without action. I don’t want to look back 10 years from now and think about what Congress could and should have done,” said Enzi. “If we do not do anything today, 10 years from now we will still be hearing the same arguments about increased production not doing anything immediately.”

The Senate rejected S. 953 today by a vote of 42-57. Enzi is hopeful the Senate will consider other energy exploration bills.

Last night the Senate defeated a proposal that would have taxed the five biggest oil companies in the country by a vote of 52-48. S. 940 needed 60 votes to proceed. Enzi voted against the measure.

“When we increase taxes on an industry, they increase the cost of their products. Raising taxes won’t lower energy prices. I believe the corporate tax structure should be revamped to help reduce the deficit. But it is not productive to impose punitive tax measures on one industry and to demonize them for the sake of political points and to threaten immediate change instead of a phase in to allow businesses and families to adjust to new circumstances,” said Enzi.

Click HERE for audio.



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