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Davis cites Democrats for high gas prices

Hank Hayes • Mar 1, 2008 at 12:00 AM

JOHNSON CITY — U.S. Rep. David Davis said the Democratic leadership in the U.S. House hasn’t done what it takes to get high gas prices to come down.

“When (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi took over Congress last year, she said she would fix the energy crisis,” the Johnson City Republican said. “Oil was $56 a barrel the day she took over as speaker of the House. It’s now $102 a barrel ... to about $1.50 (per gallon) of gas up to over $3 for gas. That’s not where the American people want to go.”

Davis made those comments during a taping of “Legislative Chat,” a public affairs program produced for public television by East Tennessee State University.

Davis said he voted against the latest energy proposal to come before the House because it contained billions of dollars in tax increases on American oil companies.

“I’ve never known a business to actually pay a tax. Businesses take taxes and fees and pass them on to their customer. ... The same thing is going to happen to energy,” he said.

Davis reiterated his contention that America needs energy legislation to reward those who partake in alternative energy practices and allows the United States to drill for oil on American soil.

“(Pelosi) has blocked energy drilling in (the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge), basically doing away with clean coal technology and basically doing away with the advance of nuclear energy,” he said. “Those are the things that make us competitive globally. ... Heritage (Foundation) said the current energy bill would move gas from $3 a gallon to $5 a gallon. ... (Democrats) believe you can tax and spend yourself into prosperity, and it can’t be done. ... China is going from bicycles to cars, and America is going from cars to bicycles if you follow the logic that is coming out of the leadership in Washington, and that’s not where we need to go.”

When asked how he has worked with House Democrats on a bipartisan basis, Davis cited the recently passed economic stimulus package as an example.

“That had some good leadership in it from Speaker Pelosi and President Bush,” he said of the package. “When people get those (tax rebates from the package), I hope they go out and buy some American products.”

When asked about his policy toward congressional earmarks — costly items slipped into pieces of legislation by lawmakers — Davis said part of his job is to bring as much federal money back to the district as possible.

“There are members of Congress who try to bring money back for a rain forest in Iowa or a hippie museum in New York or a road to nowhere in Alaska. That’s what the American people are upset about,” he responded.

Davis also pledged to compete hard for his re-election against his primary opponent, Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe.

“I won Washington County last time (in 2006),” Davis said. “My opponent is from Washington County, and I think I will win Washington County again. ... I think I will win the election again. I will do the things it takes to win.”

Davis’ appearance on “Legislative Chat” can be seen Sunday, March 9, at 11 p.m. on WETP-TV, Channel 2 or WKOP-TV, Channel 15.

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