Residents of Mayflower, Arkansas found pools of leaking crude filling their lawns this weekend, raising questions about the safety of moving a similar type of low quality oil through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Steve Mufosn, author of “Keystone XL: Down the Line,” joins us to discuss.
An oil spill in Arkansas revives debate about the Keystone XL pipeline; the annual Whie House Easter Egg Roll goes on despite the sequester; and Internet pranks abound on April Fool’s Day.
In Washington, a presidential Administration releases news it doesn’t like at 5 p.m. on Fridays. So it pays to pay attention when everyone is leaving work for the weekend.
Late last Friday, the State Department released a positive environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama has been delaying this pipeline—which would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas—for more than three years.
The delay has meant that America is still waiting on an additional 700,000 to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from a close ally, not to mention 179,000 American jobs.
Why has this taken so long, when all environmental reports thus far have been positive? Heritage’s Nicolas Loris, the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow, explains:
Given the need for jobs and more oil on the global market to offset high prices, the permit application had been moving along positively with bipartisan support without much attention until environmental activists made blocking the Keystone XL pipeline their issue to rally around for 2011. Although President Obama and the Department of State (DOS) said they’d make a decision at the end of 2011, they ultimately catered to a narrow set of special interests, punting the decision until after the 2012 elections.
The State Department, which is overseeing the pipeline because it crosses a U.S. border, has “already conducted a thorough, three-year environmental review with multiple comment periods,” Loris reported last year.
The review has been comprehensive:
DOS studied and addressed risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, wildlife, and endangered species. They concluded that the construction of the pipeline would pose minimal environmental risk. Keystone XL also met 57 specific pipeline safety standard requirements created by DOS and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Canada has oil to sell, and it isn’t likely to wait forever. Forbes writer Brigham McCown said that “Delays in approving the upper portion of the pipeline have bewildered many Canadians who see the U.S. as their closest ally and trading partner.”
McCown pointed out that “Even without the pipeline, Canada will continue to extract the oil which would be most likely transported by pipeline and rail to Canada’s coast for shipment to Asian markets.”
Because the State Department is overseeing the application, the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, will be giving his recommendation on the pipeline. Ultimately, the decision rests with President Obama. But Heritage’s David Kreutzer says Congress can, and should, step in if the President continues to block it:
Should the President reject Keystone again, Congress should wield its power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and approve the pipeline’s construction once the State Department again finishes its review of the rerouted project.
These delays are pointless. The Keystone pipeline has passed its environmental reviews, and the Obama Administration is only hurting America by holding it up.
‘President Obama has been traveling and giving interviews on the consequences of the sequester…The fact is: Republicans in Congress, right now, will provide the flexibility to make the necessary spending reductions and address our deficit and debt, instead of going through the sequester. In fact, House Republicans have already passed two bills to replace the President’s sequester. So the question is: Why won’t he work with us? And the answer, quite simply, is because he wants higher taxes.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The President and Senate Democrats are deploying poll-tested gimmicks to raise taxes on energy production instead of solving our nation’s most pressing problem: Washington’s spending addiction. In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), says that, “For the better part of the week, President Obama has been traveling and giving interviews on the consequences of the sequester…” Yet, Hoeven continues, “…it was President Obama who proposed—and promoted—the sequester.” While the President blames Congress for the sequester, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed two bills to avert it. In addition to the President’s effort to raise taxes, he is blocking an American project that will create jobs and get the economy growing—the Keystone XL pipeline. Sen. Hoeven asks, “Why, Mr. President, are you blocking a project that the American people support overwhelmingly?”
A full transcript of the address follows:
“Hi, I’m Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota. I’d like to talk to you today about the pending sequester and the need to address our debt and deficit, while creating jobs and economic growth at this critical time in our history.
“For the better part of the week, President Obama has been traveling and giving interviews on the consequences of the sequester, which is an across-the-board cut in federal discretionary spending.
“He blames Congress for the sequester, but Bob Woodward, in his book, The Price of Politics, sets the record straight.
“Woodward says it was President Obama who proposed—and promoted—the sequester.
“The fact is: Republicans in Congress, right now, will provide the flexibility to make the necessary spending reductions and address our deficit and debt, instead of going through the sequester. In fact, House Republicans have already passed two bills to replace the President’s sequester.
“So the question is: Why won’t he work with us? And the answer, quite simply, is because he wants higher taxes.
“But the right way to address our deficit and debt, and get past the sequester, is not higher taxes or just better spending control.
“It’s by creating jobs, growing the economy, and expanding the tax base.
“I was a governor for ten years. Ask any governor in the country. They’ll tell you that you have to figure out how to prioritize spending and make necessary reductions to balance the budget. No question about it.
“But above all, you have to get the economy growing. That creates jobs and revenue from economic growth, not higher taxes
“President Obama, however, not only wants higher taxes; he’s actually preventing economic growth and private-sector job creation. He is blocking it with more regulation, red tape, and bureaucracy. Let me give you a clear case in point.
“The President spoke expansively in his State of the Union address about a lot of things that sound good in a speech, but he made no mention about one of the most import projects on his desk—the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The Keystone XL project will carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day to U.S. refineries. That includes not only oil from Alberta, Canada, but also 100,000 barrels per day of light, sweet crude from the U.S. Bakken region in Montana and my home state of North Dakota.
“The project will:
- -Create tens of thousands of jobs
- -Lift our economy
- -Help keep down the cost of fuel
- -Reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, and
- -Raise hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues to address our nation’s deficit and debt—all without a single penny of taxpayer money and with better environmental stewardship than if we don’t build the project.
“In fact, the President acknowledged in his State of the Union address that ‘no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.’
“And he’s right about that, in terms of both the economy and jobs.
“Two years ago, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report showing that nationwide, 351 major energy projects—both traditional and renewable—are languishing because of regulatory barriers.
“On a human level, that represents a loss of $1.1 trillion and 1.9 million jobs to the American economy. Yet the President continues to block these projects. In the case of the Keystone XL he’s blocked it for almost five years.
“Mr. President, it takes more than a sound bite to get the economy going, but in this case, all it will take is your signature.
“And the American people would be with you.
“A Harris Poll released just a week ago showed that nearly 70 percent of Americans support the Keystone XL pipeline project. Just as many say they support importing more oil from Canada. Only 17 percent oppose the project.
“Why, Mr. President, are you blocking a project that the American people support overwhelmingly? Clearly, it appears to be because of special interest groups.
“Last week, actress Daryl Hannah and other celebrity activists were arrested for hand-cuffing themselves to the White House fence in protest against the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The real question then, Mr. President, is: Are you going to respect the will and wisdom of a majority of the American people and approve the Keystone XL pipeline—or are you going to submit to the will of vocal, special interest groups? Hollywood activists don’t have to worry about energy prices or a weekly paycheck, but working families do.
“Gas prices have reached a historic high for February, $3.71 a gallon, taking a larger bite out of the paychecks of working families across the country.
“Also, we recently learned that the unemployment rate in January ticked back up to 7.9 percent—where it has been mired for four years. And rather than grow as predicted, our economy actually shrank in the last quarter of 2012. More than 12 million people are still looking for work.
“Mr. President, if we empower our people and unleash the power of investment and innovation, we will get what all Americans agree we want and need—jobs, a dynamic economy, stable fuel prices, and real reduction in our deficit and debt—without raising taxes. And the Keystone XL project is just one example of how we get there. There are many more.
“It’s time to do things differently, Mr. President. It’s time to turn our country around with the right approach, and we stand ready to work with you to do it.
“That means empowering our people and encouraging private investment. A growing economy, combined with thoughtful, bipartisan spending reforms, will truly address our debt and deficit, and get our country back on track again.
“Thank you and God bless America.”
Despite Strong Support From Unions & Members Of His Own Party, President Obama Continues To Stonewall The Keystone Pipeline
UNION SUPPORT: It’s ‘Not Just A Pipeline,’ But ‘A Lifeline For Thousands’
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS: “‘The Keystone Pipeline project will offer working men and women a real chance to earn a good wage and support their families in this difficult economic climate,’ said… James P. Hoffa.” (TransCanada, “U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association And Unions Pledge Their Support For Keystone XL Project,” 9/14/10)
AFL-CIO: “…it is America’s workers who are clamoring for the expedited approval of this important project. As President Obama has rightfully declared when it comes to the creation of jobs, ‘WE CAN’T WAIT.’” (Mark H. Ayers, President, Building And Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, “For The 99% Of Americans, Keystone = JOBS,” Huffington Post, 11/3/11)
AFL-CIO: “For America’s skilled craft construction professionals, any discussion of the Keystone XL project begins and ends with one word: JOBS… Throughout America’s Heartland, the Keystone Pipeline represents the prospect for 20,000 immediate jobs, and as many as 500,000 indirect jobs via a strong economic multiplier effect… without one single dollar of government assistance.”(Mark H. Ayers, President, Building And Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, “For The 99% Of Americans, Keystone = JOBS,” Huffington Post, 11/3/11)
· AFL-CIO:“Enactment of S.1932 will mean a significant portion of the projected 20,000 direct jobs and the 118,000 spin-off jobs will be created immediately.” (AFL-CIO Building And Construction Trades Department President Mark Ayers, Letter To Sen. Lugar, 12/6/11)
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS:“Says International President Edwin D. Hill: ‘We welcome the opportunity to work in cooperation with TransCanada to provide the skilled work force needed on this vital project. At a time when jobs are the top global priority, the Keystone project will put thousands back to work and have ripple benefits throughout the North American economy. Our members look forward to being part of this historic project and pledge to deliver the highest quality work to make it a success.’” (International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers, “TransCanada Pipeline PLA Could Mean Construction Boon,” 10/20/11)
LABORERS’ INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA: “…not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women.” (“Unions Furious At Obama For Killing Pipeline Jobs,” Fox News, 11/10/11)
· “‘…a win-win for employers, for working men and women and for our communities and our countries,’ said Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA. ‘The partnership between TransCanada and workers and their unions will create good family-supporting jobs, while helping business and our countries compete.’” (TransCanada, “U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association And Unions Pledge Their Support For Keystone XL Project,” 9/14/10)
BRENT BOOKER, LABORERS’ INTERNATIONAL: “We’ve been supportive of this project for several years now… Our members, and construction workers, middle-class Americans are in desperate need of jobs, and we think that this project could create that for all those.” (Brent Booker, CNBC, 12/14/11)
· BOOKER: “We need the jobs now. We need them as soon as we can get them.” (Brent Booker, CNBC, 12/14/11)
· LABORERS’ INTERNATIONAL: “…not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women.” (“Unions Furious At Obama For Killing Pipeline Jobs,” Fox News, 11/10/11)
UNITED ASSOCIATION: “My name is Stephen Kelly, and I am the Assistant General President of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters, which represents over 340,000 members in the plumbing and pipe fitting industry in the United States and Canada… The United Association strongly supports the Keystone XL project and the draft legislation under consideration by the Subcommittee to expedite its approval for several good reasons. First, this project would provide a tremendous and needed boost to the U.S. construction industry, generating thousands of high-quality jobs at a time when the industry is wrestling with nearly 20 percent unemployment.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Committee On Energy And Commerce, Subcommittee On Energy And Power, Hearing, 5/23/11)
· “‘The United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Sprinklerfitters (UA) is proud to be a part of this collaboration and looks forward to adding thousands of well-paying construction jobs to this country,’ said UA General President William P. Hite. ‘Our highly-skilled workforce is ready to begin work and help boost our local and state economies.’” (“$7 Billion Keystone XL Labor Agreement Announced,” Pipeline & Gas Journal, 9/10)
DAVID BARNETT, UNITED ASSOCIATION OF PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS: “We do need this pipeline. We’ve worked very hard in the last three years to get this permit for this pipeline.” (David Barnett, CNBC, 12/14/11)
· BARNETT: “We are experiencing 20-25% unemployment in the pipeline sector right now and our welders and pipe fitters are waiting on this project. … Quite frankly, the American people are tired of Washington D.C. politics going on, and their jobs are waiting in line for these decisions. Let’s get the politics out of it. Let’s give TransCanada a go ahead.” (David Barnett, CNBC, 12/14/11)
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS: “‘An ambitious project of this scope, spanning over five states and employing thousands of American construction workers, will unequivocally help remedy the struggles of our country’s working families,’ said International Union of Operating Engineers General President Vincent J. Giblin. ‘History has proven time and time again that infrastructure projects, such as this, lead to the resurgence of our nation’s economy and the ripple effects are far-reaching. The IUOE is proud to be part of the Keystone XL pipeline and our operating engineers throughout the Midwest are ready to provide TransCanada with the skill, professionalism and pride this project requires.’” (TransCanada, “U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association And Unions Pledge Their Support For Keystone XL Project,” 9/14/10)
DEMOCRAT SUPPORT: ‘Mr. President, America Needs The Keystone XL Pipeline’
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I am for the Keystone pipeline … The Keystone pipeline, we’re addicted to oil. I’d rather use oil from my friends in Canada, than I would from the Middle East, that sounds good.” Q: “The President says he’s going to veto that though.” MANCHIN: “Well, we’ll see. I’m mean, all the trade unions, everyone’s for it, it creates thousands of jobs!” (Fox News, 12/12/11)
· MANCHIN: “I’m mean, all the trade unions, everyone’s for it, it creates thousands of jobs!” (Fox News, 12/12/11)
· MANCHIN: “It’s truly a godsend for America to have that supply from a neighbor that is friendly… I can assure you (the Canadian oil) is going to be used somewhere in the world, if it’s not used in the U.S.” (“Democratic Senator Blasts Obama Energy Policy, Says It’s ‘Bouncing Around Like A Ping Pong Bill’,” The Houston Chronicle, 6/8/11)
“Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said Keystone has the backing of several Democrats. ‘It’s always had more Democratic support than people thought,’ she said.” (“Lawmakers Grow Confident Deal Will Be Reached By Weekend,” The Hill, 12/15/11)
· “Landrieu says she’d support Keystone in payroll/UI/doc fix bill. Says ‘good deal’ of D & R support for it.” (FOX News’ Trish Turner, Twitter, 12/15/11)
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): ‘Make It Go More Quickly’ Q:“My guess is if you send them back a bill that… gave them Keystone… everybody goes home for Christmas.”SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): “Well, let’s hope we can negotiate something like that… if states’ rights are being protected and if this is going to be something maybe that we can try to jump start the approval process, make it go more quickly.” (MSNBC, 12/14/11)
SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): “I am proud to again offer my support for the Keystone XL pipeline and the jobs it will create. We need a quicker decision, based on the merits of this project.” (Sen. Tester, Floor Remarks, 12/13/11)
· TESTER: “I do not believe we should have to wait until January of 2013 for a decision that can create American jobs right now. In Montana, we need the jobs.” (Sen. Tester, Floor Remarks, 12/13/11)
· TESTER: “We should be acting responsibly to create jobs with this pipeline… Instead, we’re watching political maneuvering designed to score points rather than create jobs. And we all know that when this is how Washington acts, the people who lose are hard working Americans and Montanans who just want to go back to work. They want to build and maintain the infrastructure that powers and protects America.” (Sen. Tester, Floor Remarks, 12/13/11)
· TESTER: “The Keystone pipeline will create Montana jobs and it should not have to wait 14 months for an up-or-down decision…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,” KTVQ News, 11/30/11)
SEN. MARK BEGICH (D-AK):“I support the project. I think the president’s view on this, of waiting, I think doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is a project that could provide lots of jobs to this country… I think the president’s wrong on delaying this, and I think there are a lot of good jobs relating to this, and again [it’s oil] from a friendly country, Canada.” (“Begich On Keystone XL, Bypass Mail,” KTVA11 Alaska, 12/15/11)
SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “We need to put Montanans back to work and cannot afford further delays to the Keystone XL pipeline…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,” KTVQ News, 11/30/11)
SENS. MARK BEGICH (D-AK), MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA) & MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “…we write today in support of the Keystone XL Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline, a project that the Department of State has been considering under a Presidential Permit application since 2008. Now more than ever, it is critical that this country move forward with this project.” (“Media Advisory – Fourteen U.S. Senators Urge Secretary Of State Hillary Rodham Clinton To Approve Keystone XL Pipeline,” TransCanada, 3/16/11)
47 House Democrats voted for H.R.1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act, which states in part: “the President shall issue a final order granting or denying the Presidential Permit forthe Keystone XL pipeline.” (H.R.1938, Roll Call Vote #650, Bill Passed 279-147: R 232-3; D 47-144, 7/26/11)
“America truly cannot afford to say ‘no’ to this privately funded, $20 billion, jobs-creating infrastructure project, which would bolster our economic, energy and national security. To that end, we respectfully urge you to ensure that the Presidential Permit is issued for Keystone XL.” (22 House Democrats, Letter To President Obama, 10/19/11)
· “…Mr. President, America needs the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is in our national interest to have a Presidential Permit issued for Keystone XL as soon as possible.” (22 House Democrats, Letter To President Obama, 10/19/11)
· “The Department of State’s Final Environmental Impact Statement reaffirmed the findings of the two previous environmental impact statements, namely, that the Keystone XL Pipeline will have no significant impact on the environment.” (22 House Democrats, Letter To President Obama, 10/19/11)
· “…not only would the Keystone XL Pipeline bolster America’s economy, but it also would help strengthen our country’s energy and national security…” (22 House Democrats, Letter To President Obama, 10/19/11)
· “With job growth an ongoing struggle for our country, the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline represents a true shovel-ready project that would directly create 20,000 high quality domestic manufacturing and construction jobs for Americans who are desperately seeking employment. The project would also create an additional 118,000 spin-off jobs.” (22 House Democrats, Letter To President Obama, 10/19/11)
Rep. Jason Altmire, (D-PA), Rep. Joe Baca, (D-CA), Rep. John Barrow, (D-GA), Rep. Dan Boren, (D-OK), Rep. Leonard Boswell, (D-IA), Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA), Rep. Jim Costa, (D-CA), Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA), Rep. Henry Cuellar, (D-TX), Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, (D-TX), Rep. Al Green, (D-TX), Rep. Gene Green, (D-TX), Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, (D-TX), Rep. Tim Holden, (D-PA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-TX), Rep. Daniel Lipinski, (D-IL), Rep. Tim Matheson, (D-UT), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, (D-NY), Rep. Bill Owens, (D-NY), Rep. Collin Peterson, (D-MN), Rep. Mike Ross, (D-AR), Rep. Peter Visclosky, (D-IN)
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): “I’m very much for the pipeline. There is no question about that.” (Rep. Clyburn, MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” 12/14/11)
“Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas… counted more than 20 Democrats who would likely support adding the Keystone language to the payroll tax package. And he said he disagreed with Obama’s threat. ‘Look, I think that’d be a mistake on the president’s part,’ Ross said. ‘That’s the kind of economic activity we need. It’s a win-win. It reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates jobs here at home.’” (“Dems’ Keystone-Payroll Tax Dilemma,” Politico, 12/8/11)
REP. DAN BOREN (D-OK): “At a time when many are without work, it is time that we come together in a bi-partisan way to pass this legislation which will create tens of thousands of new jobs. I commend the Speaker for including the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that is supported by business and labor. I also believe that this bill should attract votes from both political parties, because it takes initiatives supported by President Obama including the payroll tax cut extension…”(Rep. Boren, Press Release, 12/12/11)
We’re all reminded the President hasn’t met with his jobs council since January…but we may have forgotten the real reason why.
Refresher: In its last published report, the council recommended that America should broaden its tax base and lower tax rates, extract more coal, oil and natural gas, approve Keystone XL, etc. – a number of policies supported by Mitt Romney and not Barack Obama.
And given the council was headed by Jeff Immelt and run by many major corporate CEO’s, it appears that President Obama is against not only small business (“You didn’t build that!”) but the recommendations of big business as well.
Bloomberg news excerpt and link below.
Bloomberg: Obama Jobs Panel Urges Broadened Tax Base, More Oil Drilling
By Roger Runningen
The U.S. must broaden its tax base and lower rates, extract more coal, oil and natural gas, and boost government research and development to revive the economy and stay competitive, according to recommendations of President Barack Obama’s jobs council.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) delivers the Weekly Republican Address, calling for the Administration and Senate Democrats to quit blocking bipartisan solutions to the high unemployment numbers and increasing gas prices. Senator Blunt says “jobs, jobs, and jobs should be the number one, two and three domestic priorities of the federal government and that the shortest path to more American jobs is more American energy.”
“Hi, I’m Roy Blunt; I represent Missouri in the United States Senate.
“With Election Day less than seven months away, we’ve heard a lot from President Obama lately about so-called ‘economic fairness.’
“If we’re going to talk about economic fairness, or about fairness, one of the most pressing economic issues facing families, seniors, and job creators in Missouri and across America is the strain of skyrocketing gas prices.
“Fuel costs are on track to hit an average of $4 a gallon by summertime—that’s more than double what they cost when President Obama took office, and it marks a record high for the last two months.
“Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. As a candidate, the President said, that energy costs, his quote, he said, ‘would necessarily skyrocket’ under his plan. Well that’s probably one promise the American people wish he hadn’t kept.
“Unfortunately, instead of working together to pass bipartisan solutions that would relieve pain at the pump and pressure on jobs, this administration is focused on the wrong things.
“The latest example was the Senate’s vote this week on the so-called Buffett Tax—a gimmick that would do nothing to jumpstart jobs or lower fuel prices for average Americans who are really struggling to make ends meet and has a lot of negative consequences.
“My colleagues across the aisle readily admit that this bill would not help our struggling economy. In fact, the lead sponsor of the Buffett Tax admitted on the Senate floor this week, that according to him, ‘the aim of this bill is not to lower the unemployment rate or the price of gasoline.’
“Now the real question that Americans should be asking is ‘why not?’ Why would the Senate be talking about things that wouldn’t have impact on energy prices or our economy? Why would we have wasted the week on something like that? There’s really no excuse for not doing things that would lower gas prices and encourage private sector job creation.
“Four out of five people hit by the new tax are business owners. With nearly 13 million Americans unemployed, the last thing we need is to raise taxes and create greater uncertainty for our nation’s job creators.
“According to a recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, uncertainty and gas prices are the top concerns for small businesses.
“More than half of all small businesses said they weren’t hiring because they said they ‘weren’t confident in the recovery,’ and a third said they weren’t hiring due to the ‘uncertainty driven by Washington.’ Well we didn’t do anything this week about either of those problems and some of them can only be solved by government doing its job.
“Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of small businesses reported that gas prices were their top concern.
“Unfortunately, for years this administration and Democrats in the Senate continue to dismiss bipartisan solutions that would help put people back to work and encourage more economic energy development.
“Ten years ago, when gas prices averaged $1.45 a gallon, Senate Democrats blocked legislation that would have produced more domestic energy here in the United States and lowered the price today. They said their reason was well we wouldn’t have that energy for 10 years—10 years later that’s a pretty hallow excuse.
“In addition, the Administration continues to block the Keystone XL Pipeline—that’s the nation’s largest shovel-ready project, no taxpayer money involved, it would create thousands of American jobs and deliver more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day to our refineries from our best trading partner and our closest neighbor, Canada—all without costing taxpayers.
“The Keystone Pipeline is one common-sense step in the right direction to help put more people back to work, reduce prices at the pump, and position our nation for greater energy security now and in the future.
“Jobs, jobs, and jobs should be the number one, two and three domestic priorities of the federal government. The shortest path to more American jobs is more American energy.
“We should do the right the thing for American jobs and American families and by the way, we should do it now!”
National Journal: Manchin on the Fence About Obama Vote. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who has done more than any other Democrat up for reelection this year to distance himself from President Obama, said he does not know if he will vote for Obama or presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in November. “I’ll look at the options,” Manchin said this week. The last three years “have made it pretty rough” for his state, he said.
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“‘After This Election, Congress Will Be In The Democratic Column. The U.S. Senate Will Be In The Democratic Column. Give Us Barack Obama And Joe Biden At The Top,’ Manchin Said.” (Paul J. Nyden, “‘Tour For Change,’” The Charleston [WV] Gazette, 10/19/08)
Manchin: “We Are All Totally Committed To Senator Barack Obama Being The Next President Of The United States. I Can Assure You That.” (Governor Joe Manchin, Remarks At DNC Press Conference, 6/10/08)
“‘It’s About The Economy,’ The Governor Continued. ‘West Virginia Has Done Very Well, But We Can Come Down With This National Economy As It’s Sinking Right Now. I Think [Obama] Would Be A Tremendous Partner. I’ve Never Seen A Presidential Candidate Or Heard Of One Reaching Out To The Governors State-By-State To See How They Can Work And Make Things Better.’” (Jake Stump, “Obama Says W.Va. Still In Play,” The Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 10/30/08)
And don’t miss this piece in the New York Times reporting that President Obama finds himself increasingly boxed in on the Keystone Pipeline. With the House vote, Mr. Obama finds himself, for the first time in his presidency, threatening a veto on a significant piece of legislation that enjoys the support of an increasing number of Democrats, as well as the vast majority of Republicans in Congress. With gas prices sticking near $4 a gallon, unemployment high in many states and demonstrable support for the project in numerous polls, many Democrats — especially those from states where pipelines are commonplace — are beginning to sound almost indistinguishable from Speaker John A. Boehner, who called Mr. Obama “increasingly isolated” in his opposition to expanding the project.
In the Weekly Republican Address, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the energy crisis facing America isn’t caused by a lack of energy resources, but rather stems from a lack of leadership that starts “at the top” with the President. “America remains dependent on foreign oil from unstable and anti-Western regimes, and yet the President is blocking the pipeline that would transport oil to the United States from our neighbor and ally—Canada,” she says. “Millions of Americans remain out of work, but President Obama continues to propose job-killing tax hikes and obstruct the basic energy infrastructure projects that would lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs, not to mention more revenue in state budgets.”
“Hi, I’m Governor Mary Fallin from the Great State of Oklahoma.
“As you may know, Oklahoma is an energy state. Nearly one in seven jobs are supported by the oil and natural gas industry. And with our tremendous potential for expansion in wind power, we are also moving forward in the area of cutting edge, renewable energy.
“Energy production has long been an important part of our history, and our economy has benefitted tremendously from the health of the energy sector. Oklahoma has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, at 6 percent. We are the number two state in the nation for job creation in the last 12 months and in 2011 our citizens experienced the 4th highest per capita income growth in the United States.
“We recognize that the energy industry is a valuable ally as we seek to create jobs and stimulate the economy, and that’s why Oklahoma Republicans continue to support the production of all kinds of energy resources.
“Our pro-energy policies stand in stark contrast though to the policies supported by President Obama and the Washington Democrats, who seem to view American-made energy as a hazardous waste rather than a resource.
“Last month, the President made his first visit to Oklahoma since being sworn into office.
“While he was here, he made some interesting claims.
“We were surprised to hear the President say he supports an ‘all of the above’ energy policy.
“Well, this is the same President whose party pushed a ‘cap and trade’ plan that would dramatically raise taxes on energy producers. Those tax increases would discourage energy production, drive up gas prices and utility costs for American families and destroy thousands of jobs.
“While he was in Oklahoma, President Obama also surprised us by taking credit for the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline—an important project that will allow Oklahoma energy producers to get their product to the market in the Gulf Coast.
“The only problem is… the southern leg of the pipeline didn’t need the President’s approval. It was already in the works.
“Here’s another inconvenient truth the President avoided: his administration is continuing to hold up construction on the northern leg of that pipeline—a project that would have created thousands of jobs and over a billion dollars in private investment. This from a President who says his number one focus is jobs.
“Finally, President Obama made the outrageous claim that his administration is responsible for the national increase in domestic drilling.
“Well, here’s the truth: drilling is increasing in the United States… on privately owned land. We have the ingenuity and the hard work of the American men and women in the private sector to thank for that.
“On public land, which President Obama is responsible for, drilling is rapidly decreasing. In fact, leases issued by the Bureau of Land Management are now less than half of what they were under former President Bill Clinton.
“And because of the severe limitations the President has put on drilling, especially offshore drilling, that number will continue to fall.
“The bottom line is this administration is taking credit for American energy production while it works to aggressively undermine it.
“Besides being hypocritical, the President’s double-talk is dangerous to our economy and our national security.
“We know that families, already struggling in this poor economy, are feeling pinched by rising costs at the gas pump.
“America remains dependent on foreign oil from unstable and anti-Western regimes, and yet the President is blocking the pipeline that would transport oil to the United States from our neighbor and ally—Canada.
“Millions of Americans remain out of work, but President Obama continues to propose job-killing tax hikes and obstruct the basic energy infrastructure projects that would lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs, not to mention more revenue in state budgets.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. The energy resources in the United States are enormous.
“In fact, shale deposits in the United States contain enough natural gas alone to power this country for another 100 years.
“Let’s be clear—the energy crisis we are facing today isn’t a lack of energy resources; it’s a lack of leadership. That starts at the top, with our President.
“Americans are paying the price for his failed policies—finding fewer jobs, higher gas prices, and less opportunity.
“Republicans have a better way. Across the nation, Republicans are supporting all kinds of domestic energy production and the jobs that come with it.
“The American people deserve an energy policy that creates a stronger economy, more jobs and opportunity, and the security that comes with American Energy Independence. We’re working hard to give them one.
“Thanks for your time, and of course, have a wonderful Easter weekend!”
American Energy Alliance reminds consumers that President Obama and his administration are intentionally boosting the price of gas by restricting access to Americas natural resources. We have enough oil to fuel our economy for the next 200 years. To learn more, go to www.americanenergyalliance.org.
The following ad will run in these States over the next two weeks: New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Michigan
GAS PRICE MYTHS, COURTESY OF THE PRESIDENT
MYTH: ” As a country that has 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, but uses 20 percent of the world’s oil … what that means is, as much as we’re doing to increase oil production, we’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.” – March 7, 2012
FACT: The reality is that the United States has enough recoverable oil to last for 200 years. In fact, the United States is the third largest oil producer in the world.
When President Obama’s says that the U.S. only has 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, he is only talking about a small portion of our oil resources—reserves that have already been discovered through actual exploration or drilling and can be recovered economically. But that isn’t all of the oil we have or all of the oil we could extract with today’s technology. According to government data, the United States has 1,442 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil—enough to last 200 years.
President Obama’s number does not include oil that we know exists, but are unable to access because of government restrictions. Much of these untapped reserves underlie oil-rich federal lands, including the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, the Naval Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, federal waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, at least 45 percent of the Gulf of Mexico, the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and oil shale on federal lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, to name a few. In fact, the federal government only leases 3 percent of federal lands for energy development. The 2 percent number is artificially small because the federal government keeps so much of the tax-payer owned federal lands off limits.
To put our recoverable our resources in perspective, 1,442 billion barrels of oil more than six times the proved reserves of Saudi Arabia.
MYTH: “There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to high gas prices. There’s no silver bullet.” – March 15, 2012
FACT: We agree there is no silver bullet, but we should consider what happened when President Bush allowed lifted the executive moratorium on drilling in most of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The price of oil fell over $9 per barrel almost immediately after the announcement. It fell further when Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress would allow the congressional moratorium on offshore drilling to expire, as well. Ebbs and flows in oil futures prices occur as markets attempt to anticipate what future supply and demand might look like for a global commodity like oil, and much of this access to resources hinges on the decisions of policymakers and world leaders.
Similar to allowing the executive moratorium to expire, President Obama could adopt pro-energy policies that would, with reasonable certainty, increase domestic oil production and/or supply to U.S. markets. This anticipated future supply would place downward pressure on global oil prices, which represent the majority of the cost of a gallon of gasoline. However, the Obama administration has undertaken numerous efforts that will instead curtail access to energy, including putting forth a five-year offshore drilling plan that closes the majority of the OCS to new production, restricting 75 percent of federal lands with Western oil shale resources to development, and denying a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought up to 800,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. markets.
MYTH: The long-term solution to rising gas prices is to “invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, in our buildings, in our factories.” – March 7, 2012
FACT: In 2009, the price of natural gas rose to over $14 MMBtu. Today the spot price is $2.03 at Henry Hub. The difference between today and 2009 is an increase in production that outstripped demand. Reducing oil demand faster than oil can be produced is highly unlikely. Oil demand is already falling.
In 2009, the U.S. used less oil than it did in 1978. The U.S. has used less oil 5 years in a row. The problem isn’t our usage—the growth in global demand is coming from countries like China that are using more and more affordable energy to fuel their rapidly growing economies.
Secondly, investments in wind and solar generation technologies have been subsidized since 1978, with even larger subsidies for actual production coming in 1992 and 2004. In fiscal year 2010, subsidies were $775.64 per megawatt hour (mWh) for solar and $56.29/mWh for wind, compared to $0.64/mWh for coal, natural gas and petroleum liquids. The “long-term” approach has been taken, billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent, and no affordable alternative to using oil as a transportation fuel has materialized.