Weekly Republican Address 3/3/12: Rep. Doc Hastings (WA)

Weekly Republican Address 3/3/12: Rep. Doc Hastings (WA)

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In this week’s address, Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Doc Hastings (R-WA) discusses how the president is unwilling to work toward energy independence in our nation. Gas prices are on the rise again, and our current administration has given no impression that they’re serious about lowering our energy costs and creating much-needed jobs. House Republicans are working to open domestic energy production and ease the burden on small businesses so they can grow and hire again. It’s all part of our plan at http://jobs.GOP.gov

“Hi, I’m Congressman Doc Hastings from the state of Washington.  I chair the House Natural Resources Committee, which handles several issues relating to job creation, including American energy production.

“As you’ve painfully noticed, gas prices are rising quickly, already topping four dollars a gallon in some areas.  On average, prices at the pump are more than double what they were when President Obama took office.

“Americans are right to worry that no relief is in sight.  The president, who campaigned on a promise to address rising gas prices, now talks as if they’re largely beyond his control.  This week, when the president’s Energy Secretary was asked whether the administration’s goal is to lower gas prices, the secretary’s answer was ‘no.’   Incredibly, one Democrat leader in the Senate actually suggested we push Saudi Arabia to produce more oil, thereby increasing our dependence on the Middle East.

Like you, Republicans take this issue seriously, because high gas prices hurt us all, and not just at the pump.  Local governments are forced to make cutbacks to police patrols and other essential services.  Schools run fewer buses.  The cost of groceries go up.  The cost of running a business goes up, and that means less to invest in hiring new workers.   Rising gas prices are a huge drain on our economy, plain and simple.

“As part of our Plan for America’s Job Creators, Republicans continue to pursue an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach that utilizes the natural resources we have right here at home.  When we responsibly develop these resources, we don’t just address rising energy costs – we also help create good-paying jobs and improve our energy security, right now and over the long term.   This common-sense approach enjoys bipartisan support, and has been endorsed by the president’s own jobs council.

“Though the president now claims to support ‘all-of-the-above,’ he has consistently blocked American energy production, most recently by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.  In addition to that, he has restricted drilling in offshore areas while encouraging other countries, including Brazil, to expand their own exploration.  And while the president says oil production alone can’t solve our problems, his administration has proposed costly regulations that would hurt the supply of other domestic sources.  Instead of placing his bet on American-made energy and the workers who produce it, President Obama has wasted taxpayer dollars on Solyndra and other unproven technologies.

“Actions speak louder than words.  Republicans have followed through on our ‘all-of-the-above’ approach and passed through the House bipartisan reforms that break down government barriers to our natural resources.

“While the president has closed off new areas for offshore drilling, the House has passed legislation that would open the most promising areas offshore to exploration and production.

“While the President has delayed leases and withdrawn over a million acres in the Rocky Mountains to oil shale development, the House has passed legislation to set clear rules and require additional leases to be issued.

“While the president opposes energy production in ANWR, the House has passed legislation to make available three percent of the land in this Arctic coastal plain, which is known to be abundant in natural resources.

“The House has also voted to remove regulatory barriers to the development of renewable energy sources and require approval of the Keystone pipeline, a project that even President Clinton says we should embrace.  

“Again, this approach has been endorsed by the president’s own jobs council.

“A meeting at the White House this week provided a glimmer of new hope that the President and the Democratic-controlled Senate may finally act on some bipartisan energy bills that have been passed by the Republican-led House.

“That’s welcome news, because Washington D.C. needs to have a sense of urgency about this.  The reality is, prices will only climb higher if we don’t take action now to improve our energy security and develop our own natural resources.  

“Republicans are ready to continue moving forward with an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan, and we hope the president will live up to his rhetoric.  Hardworking taxpayers can’t wait to have the pain at the pump addressed.

“Thank you for listening, and God bless America.”