Graham Reaction to Obama Speech on Drilling

Statement

By:  Lindsey Graham
Date: March 31, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

Graham Reaction to Obama Speech on Drilling

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Obama Administration's proposal to open additional areas to offshore drilling.

"I listened with great interest to President Obama's speech encouraging the nation to adopt comprehensive policies which allow us to become energy independent. I intend to answer the call by working with my Republican and Democratic Senate colleagues to put our nation on a pathway to energy independence and a cleaner environment.

"I thought the President's speech correctly emphasized the national security aspects of this problem. He did a very good job of explaining the challenges we face and how our own national security is placed at increased risk by our reliance on foreign oil.

"The time has come for our nation to embrace comprehensive, game-changing energy policies which lead to energy independence. The incremental changes we have adopted in the past have simply led to more and more dependence on foreign oil.

"My goal for comprehensive energy legislation has been to achieve three objectives -- energy independence, the creation of clean jobs, and having the cleanest air on the planet. As Americans, we deserve nothing less.

Proposal on Drilling:

"As to the Obama Administration's proposal for environmentally sound offshore exploration for American oil and natural gas, this is a good first step. But there is more that must be done to make this proposal meaningful and the game-changer we all want it to become.

"Among the areas we still need to address -- encouraging states to allow exploration by sharing a portion of the revenue raised from oil and gas drilling, opening even more areas of the Eastern Gulf to exploration, the inclusion of viable drilling sites in the Atlantic and Pacific, and expanding the list of areas we inventory for possible reservoirs of oil and gas.

"It is a national disgrace that as a nation we are more dependent on foreign oil today than we were before 9/11. Drilling is an important piece to making our nation more energy independent as every barrel of oil or gallon of gas we find or produce in America is one less we need to purchase from regimes who hate us. But I realize we cannot simply drill our way to energy independence.

"We need a comprehensive energy strategy for our nation that breaks our addiction to foreign oil. We need a robust expansion of nuclear power. We need to price carbon in a consumer-friendly manner to help speed along the exciting, new technologies out there. We need to promote energy efficiency for our homes and businesses.

"It should be our national goal to once and for all break our addiction and unhealthy dependence on foreign oil. But that will not happen if we believe the status quo is good enough."