Victims' Rights Caucus



   Mr. Speaker, crude oil prices went to a record high of $93 a barrel today. No doubt Americans will feel it at the gas pump. There are numerous reasons for the increase: mainly, oil producing countries are unstable. Mexico has cut oil production 20 percent because of bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico. Africa's largest exporter of oil to the United States, Nigeria, has had incidents where pirates have kidnapped workers from offshore drilling rigs.

   The Middle East is still a tinder box of uncertainty with Iran's nuclear development, Turkey fighting the Kurdish rebels, and, of course, the problems that persist in Iraq and Syria. All of this affects the disruption of oil exports. This, plus a weak dollar, means that crude oil prices will grow even higher.

   Until the United States develops a safe energy policy that allows complete offshore drilling for crude oil and drilling in ANWAR, we will be held hostage by Third World countries, rogue dictators, and political enemies. We have the ability to explore and drill safely our own abundant natural resources. We must take care of ourselves or the days of higher oil prices have just begun.

   And that's just the way it is.