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Harvesting American Energy Resources

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. WOODALL. Madam Speaker, I am glad to be able to take the floor after the Member from Pennsylvania (Mr. Altmire) talking about energy because it's something that's on everybody's mind today. He is talking about nuclear energy, and he concluded with the remarks, What can we do to find American-made energy solutions? What can we do to find American energy independence? What can we do to provide good-paying American jobs? Folks, those things are all intertwined. There is not a product that we produce in this country that does not have an energy component to it. We have to have that access to energy in order to have access to jobs. That's why I'm so proud that in the tail end of last week and the beginning of this week, that's what we're focused on here on the House floor. What can we do to find those domestic energy solutions?

There aren't going to be as many folks here, Madam Speaker, as I look around the gallery, who might have been alive in the 1970s. Madam Speaker, I think you and I were here then. We remember some of those gas lines. Would you believe that we bring less American oil to market today than we did in 1970? Would you believe it's almost half?

We have been blessed in this country with domestic energy resources the likes of which no other country on the planet can claim. And yet we seem to be doing everything that we can to keep those resources in the ground and, instead, send precious American dollars overseas, often to folks who don't like us and would like to see our demise.

Folks, energy independence isn't just a tag line. It's not just about $4 prices at the pump. It's about national security. It's about, what is our vision for the future of this country? Is it a vision of dependency upon our enemies overseas? Or is it a vision of independence where we're bringing American resources out of the ground with American workers, creating American capital?

It's not just, Drill, drill, drill. I'm a big believer in drill here, drill now. But that's not because we're not sensitive to what's happening in a changing energy environment across this planet. Would you believe, for example, that in this country, we use less energy per capita today, fewer Btus today, than we did just 5 years ago, than we did 10 years ago, than we did 20 years ago, than we did 30 years ago. To say that we need energy independence, to say that national security depends on getting our resources out of the ground is not to say that conservation isn't a part of the model as well. It is. We're doing it, we're doing it successfully, and we should continue to do it, but we have to get our resources out of the ground.

Would you believe that as a percentage of the energy that we use in this country, that petroleum is in decline? Each and every year, we use less oil per capita than we used the year before, but that doesn't mean that we don't still need to get American oil out of the ground. In fact, we are importing more oil today than we did just 10 years ago, than we did just 20 years ago. We have the resources here. We know of more oil that's in the ground in America today than we have ever known of before, and yet we choose to send our dollars overseas to import that energy instead.

There are three bills we're working on here, Madam Speaker, and you know them well. H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act. Can you believe, Madam Speaker, that in a time of record-high gas prices that we have the second-largest shallow water drilling operation in the country going out of business for lack of work? For lack of work. Oil prices are headed back towards historic highs, and American drillers are going out of business for lack of work. And it's not just the company, Madam Speaker; it is each and every one of the American men and women who work on those drill rigs who are out of work because we can't get permits issued out of Washington, D.C. Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act.

H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act. We have these resources. We have this national security need. We have men and women who want to go to work to solve that need, and we won't let the permits out of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. has not been the solution here. Washington, D.C. has been the problem.

Folks, if what you want to say is, We're going to pass a bill on this floor that's going to ban automobiles, and we just won't use any more gasoline, fair enough. If what you want to say is, We're going to pass a bill on this floor that's going to ban plastic and say, we're just not going to produce any more, fair enough. If you are going to pass a bill that says, We're not going to produce any more fertilizer in this country, who needs it, fair enough. But until you do--and I would vote ``no'' on each one of those proposals--but until you do, we need American oil, and we need to get it out of the ground, and we need to get it out of the ground now.

Madam Speaker, I am tremendously grateful for the leadership you have shown in bringing these bills to the floor, and I thank you for the time.


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