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Press Release

Rep. Castor: GOP Big Oil Giveaway Bill is Bad for Consumers and Bad for Florida

H.R. 21, which passed the House today would raise gas prices on American consumers

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) voted no on the Republican-led H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act better known as the “GOP’s Big Oil Giveaway.” The legislation would significantly weaken a critical energy security tool, resulting in more oil supply shortages and higher gas prices for Americans. Castor’s amendment to permanently ban oil drilling off of Florida’s coast failed due to opposition of Florida Republicans who previously supported the ban on drilling off our coast.

Castor spoke against this bill on the House Floor and offered an amendment – videos of both sets of remarks can be found here.

“In one of the first acts of their House Majority, Republicans have passed a big oil giveaway that’s great for the fossil fuel industry and bad for consumers. Higher prices, more pollution and drilling on public lands is a win for Big Oil, while consumers pay more.

“After Putin invaded Ukraine and American consumers were grappling with higher gas prices, President Biden was right to release oil from the Strategic Reserve to cushion the economic blow to American families. It was a common sense strategy that helped lower gas prices for Americans. But now, Republicans want to tie the hands of the President to act when necessary. But there are too many contingencies in the world: war, supply chain issues, natural disasters, to irrationally tie the hands of the Commander in Chief to use the Strategic Reserve when needed.

“This bill also opens up areas to drilling and pollution that should be off limits, like the coast of Florida. It could wreck our economy, our beautiful coastal waters and beaches in areas that the Department of Defense needs for military training. I am extremely disappointed that all but 1 Florida Republican voted down my amendment to permanently ban oil drilling off the coast of Florida. Our public lands and water should not be sacrificed for big oil company profits. Through the historic, climate-forward Inflation Reduction Act, we are about to unleash the clean energy economy, create good-paying jobs, lower costs for families, and build safer and healthier, more resilient communities. We’re poised to make important progress on the health of our oceans and our economy, so there is no need to double down on drilling. For Florida, our economy, our sea life, our coasts, our way of life and our future generations, I voted no on this bill.”