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(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray today took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to speak out against the President's newly announced and ineffective drilling expansion plan.

Murray said Washington state residents who are currently feeling the squeeze at the pump won't find immediate relief in the President's plan.

"Unfortunately for all of us suffering from these out of control prices at the pump, the President is offering tough talk, but no real solutions to the current crisis," Murray said.

"Americans are hurting today, but additional drilling offshore won't lower gas prices now.  The President's own Department of Energy says that lifting this moratorium wouldn't even begin to make an impact until 2030."

Murray encouraged better use of the 68 million acres of federal land, both on-shore and off-shore, that is already open to exploration and passing energy tax credits as well as renewable energy measures.

Murray's full floor statement as prepared follows:

"A few minutes ago President Bush renewed his call for more oil drilling, saying that more drilling is the answer to spiraling prices. 

"Unfortunately for all of us suffering from these out of control prices at the pump, the President is offering tough talk, but no real solutions to the current crisis.

"Americans are hurting today, but additional drilling offshore won't lower gas prices now.  The President's own Department of Energy says that lifting this moratorium wouldn't even begin to make an impact until 2030.

"And even then, there’s no guarantee. 

"The President says he wants to open more land for drilling to increase production.  What he doesn’t say is that the oil companies – right now – hold 68 million acres of land both on shore and off that they could drill today.  Let me say that again – while the President wants to hand more leases to the oil companies, they are already sitting on 68 million acres of federal land, doing nothing to explore and produce oil on those leases.

"Should we be surprised?  I don’t think so – these are the same companies making record profits – billions and billions of dollars each year – as a direct result of increasing oil and gas prices. 

"And it gets even worse.  The little secret that the oilmen in the White House don’t like to share is that a portion of the oil that the oil companies pull from American soil never even enters our market – it’s sold to China and other countries around the globe. 

"Families in Washington state and across the country are sick and tired of paying higher and higher prices at the pump.  They deserve real solutions that will offer stability and help control prices.  Unfortunately, today the President gave them more of the same failed policies. 

"Republicans in recent days have been saying that we should “Find More, Use Less.”  That sounds fine to me, and I’ve got an easy solution: Have the oil companies find more oil in the 68 million acres they could begin drilling today, and let’s invest in using less by passing the energy tax credits that Republicans have filibustered time and again.  It’s long past time for new investments in renewable energy and fast tracking alternative energy technology. 

"Instead of pandering to the public with an energy plan Presidential advisors say won't work, the President and Republicans in Congress need to work with us to end excessive speculation, invest in clean energy and pass renewable energy tax credits.  That’s what the American people deserve."