America is a country rich in energy resources and emerging technologies, and I support an all-of-the-above energy strategy that encourages domestic production, reduces our dependency on foreign oil and explores alternative energy solutions.
Oil and natural gas production has shaped Oklahoma’s economy since shortly after statehood, and it continues to do so today. While I am supportive of our traditional energy producers and protective of the thousands they employ, I have also supported tax credits that promote renewable energy development—like wind power—and incentivizes consumers to use renewable and alternative fuels. In addition, I believe that expediting the permitting process for liquefied natural gas exports (LNG) and lifting the 40 year-old ban on crude oil exports is essential to ensuring independence from foreign oil suppliers. We achieved that objective in the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2016.
Hampering domestic energy production is not the path towards a robust economy and job growth. Unfortunately, in recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been busy formulating a national plan to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Such drastic changes in energy policy would have damaging consequences for our economy, including a dramatic increase in electricity prices. As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, I have worked with my colleagues to cut EPA funding more than 20 percent, cut back staff to 1989 levels and stop regulatory overreach.
More on Energy
Last month, we surpassed 2,000 days since TransCanada first submitted its construction application for the Keystone XL pipeline. Unfortunately, even more recently, the State Department announced it will again postpone its decision on the project. After more than five years of delays, despite several studies revealing no noticeable impact on the environment, it is beyond frustrating that the Administration has again chosen to avoid making a decision.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) highlighted the need for President Obama to approve TransCanada’s construction application for the Keystone XL pipeline. Today marks 2,000 days since the application was first submitted. If approved, the project would create around 42,100 jobs in America during construction.
The Oklahoman - Chris Casteel
The Republican-controlled U.S. House voted 241-175 on Wednesday to require the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Nebraska. The vote was symbolic since the U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats, is not likely going to consider the House bill. The U.S. State Department is currently analyzing TransCanada’s proposal to build the pipeline, and it’s not known when a decision will be announced.
The Oklahoman - Chris Casteel
If only President Obama would take his approach to energy production and apply it to the national debt, we’d be down to 2007 levels in no time. According to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), his administration’s policies have caused production on federal lands to plummet.
In a recent speech, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the case that energy policy plays a crucial role in both America's national security and our economic security. Speaking at Georgetown University on October 18, Secretary Clinton stated, "Today, energy cuts across the entirety of U.S. foreign policy. It is a matter of national security and global stability. It is at the heart of the global economy." Clinton emphasized that "energy is essential to how we will power our economy and manage our environment in the 21st century."
The media may no longer be paying attention to gas prices, but the American people are fully aware that fuel costs are on the rise again. The $3.72 national average gas price recorded on August 20 was the highest ever observed on that date. Prices have risen 9 percent over the past few months, making 2012 the most expensive year ever for drivers. According to USA Today, industry experts predict average prices could rise as high as $3.90 and remain above $3.00 even into autumn.
President Obama's decision to unilaterally kill the Keystone pipeline project is not the only government action to stifle energy production and job creation. Every day, federal policies create obstacles to the energy independence America needs to achieve for both our national security and economic recovery.