Representative John Curtis encourages greater domestic oil and gas production at a cut price fuel event in Lehi

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“We can be energy independent and we can still reduce emissions,” the members of Congress said.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. John Curtis speaks to the media as motorists line up to fill their tanks with unleaded gasoline at the price it was at this time last year, at Lehi, Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Utah Rep. John Curtis said Tuesday it was in the United States’ interest to produce oil and gas domestically.

“We don’t have to sacrifice energy independence. We don’t have to sacrifice higher prices. We don’t have to sacrifice our economy. And we can still reduce emissions, all of these things, they’re not mutually exclusive,” Curtis said of US energy policy.

His remarks were part of an event organized Tuesday by Americans For Prosperity – a national and conservative political advocacy group – at All About Food and Fuel, a gas station and convenience store that offered unleaded gasoline for 2.38 $ per gallon, the national average for fuel. in January 2021, according to AFP.

The average price for a regular gallon of gasoline in Utah on Tuesday was $4.91, according to AAA.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Representative John Curtis speaks to motorists as they fill their tanks with unleaded gasoline at the price it was at this time last year, in Lehi, Tuesday, July 26, 2022 .

If the United States were to achieve energy independence, Curtis said, it would be important to ensure that big oil companies had access to public lands and the ability to invest there.

The representative for Utah’s 3rd congressional district said denying companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron capital to fund domestic oil and natural gas production, “sent signals to the market that, ‘If you invest in this, it won’t be long term, we’ll shut you down.

He encouraged Republican and Democratic members of Congress to work together on energy policy or else those decisions are left to the White House. President Joe Biden has halted new oil and gas leases in his first 15 months in office.

Drivers lined up for hours to buy the cheapest fuel, as cars snaked around the block waiting to enter pumps. Curtis strolled around a crowd of automobiles, offering to pump gas and clean car windows while drivers in his neighborhood filled their tanks.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Representative John Curtis washes a motorist’s windshield as he fills up on unleaded gasoline at the price it was at this time last year, in Lehi , Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

While the station slashed prices to nearly $5 a gallon at the end of the event, Curtis told the Salt Lake Tribune there’s a better way to deal with gas prices that doesn’t include dependence on other countries.

“We can be energy independent and we can still reduce emissions,” Curtis said. “And that’s what the caucus is for. Republicans go on the offensive and say, “Listen, we care about the environment, we want to reduce emissions, here’s our plan.”

In June, the Bureau of Land Management was to hold its first auction of oil and gas leases – a 160-acre parcel of Uinta Basin land, but the bureau later canceled the sale.

Despite the Biden administration’s previous pause on new leases, drilling in Utah has continued. The moratorium did not apply to existing leases, and unused wells continue to be available throughout Utah.

Heather Anderson, AFP Utah state director, said the political organization helped pay the difference on cheaper gas.


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