Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, last week we were here talking about jobs. This week, we need to talk about jobs again because, quite honestly, the problem the United States has is we have to get our people back to work.
These fine folks who just had the hour before us, they were talking about jobs, talking about the ability to get a job. I thought it was an interesting discussion. We are all concerned about jobs, and we all have different views of how this should be done.
The President laid out a broad agenda for another stimulus bill that he believes will cause us to have new jobs. He's going to deliver that I think today in writing so we can all sit down and look at it and analyze just exactly what it actually says so we can figure out how much of that will create jobs, and if there is a disagreement, we will at least know what we disagree with.
But the bottom line is there are some things that are basic. People take their money and they invest their money when they feel like, A, it's going to make them money, and B, they can feel relatively safe that the future that they envision is the future that's going to actually happen. You've got to look down the road in any organization and get yourself a perspective of just what it takes to make your business or your operation thrive and go forward. And there are some basic things you want to know. You want to know, basically--let's say you're doing a 5-year plan. Over the next 5 years, there are some simple things you would like to know: What are my taxes; what taxes am I going to have to pay on my business? What regulations are going to affect my business, and are they going to change? What is the source of money to borrow or invest in my business if I want to expand? Let's say I want to put a new assembly line in my factory, or I need a new building for my business to grow and put my employees in. Am I going to be able to finance that building? Am I going to be able to come up with the mortgage money to be able to do that? Can I envision a pathway to income that will support that mortgage and the paychecks for those people that I'm going to hire to run my business with me, to operate the business? These are not mind-shattering things. This is very simple stuff.
If you were starting a lemonade stand, you would have to make some kind of projection on a lemonade stand to figure out whether you were just going to sell lemonade today, or maybe you could sell it all week if you're a little kid. But you've got to know what the playing field is about.
Tonight I'm going to talk about the same thing we talked about last time, something that may be unintended consequences. It may be a different agenda of a different view of the world, or whatever you want to call it, but there are very, very onerous regulations that are popping up now on a basically daily basis that are surprising people and industry around the country. The one that is a front-page headline and will be the subject of legislation I believe this week in Congress is on this board right here. And Congressman Tim Scott of South Carolina has a bill to block this regulation, this action by one of our regulatory authorities, the National Labor Relations Board.
The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Boeing to prevent them from building a new aircraft plant in South Carolina. Boeing currently
has a large complex of production in Seattle, Washington--or somewhere in Washington, I think it's Seattle--Puget Sound it's called. The problem that the National Labor Relations Board has with the South Carolina site--which is not going to displace, to my knowledge, any of the union employees that are at Puget Sound, but it's a new factory with new employees. But because this factory is in a right-to-work State, where a person doesn't have to join a union in order to get the salary and benefits that the company pays, the National Labor Relations Board has filed suit against Boeing to prevent them from hiring these people and opening this plant.
Now at a time with over 9 percent unemployment--close to 10 percent in some estimates--and as you heard, in some communities, the African community, 16 or 18 percent unemployment, in the Hispanic community, the very same kind of numbers for the Hispanic community, why would a board in Washington, D.C., the National Labor Relations Board, why would they want to say to a company which has made a financial determination that the wise place for them to build their next factory is in the great State of South Carolina, but because they are not a union State, they say, no, we're not going to let you build it there? When did it become the government's job to have regulatory authorities telling people where they could and could not build a plant based solely on union membership? This is very, very onerous. It's very, very unfortunate.
Without any argument pro or con toward union membership, this State--which is a sovereign State of our Nation--has chosen to have right-to-work laws, which means you don't have to join the union to go to work. Other States choose to have union laws, and closed shops, which means that you can't work in a place unless you join the union. Whether you like one version or the other depends on where you stand, but the facts are that in this country we have both union shops and right-to-work States, and I don't think the government should be picking winners and losers.
I think it's inappropriate for the government to be picking winners and losers. So that's why Tim Scott is bringing a bill to the floor this week, I believe it's this week, to discuss this very issue and, basically, restrict the National Labor Relations Board from having the power to do something like this, because this is not appropriate. The National Labor Relations Board's job is to develop the relationship between labor and management. It's not a guarantee of union membership. The reason we're talking about this, first and foremost is this is the current event in regulations and government interference in a company's business.
And by the way, what is a corporation?
This is something I'm always amazed by. The minute you said the words ``Boeing Corporation,'' it's like they become something, some giant something, and like it's one rich man someplace that owns Boeing. If you own a 401(k), if you have a retirement plan, if you are involved in even the government investment plan that we have for our Federal employees, there's a pretty good chance you might own Boeing stock. Your plan might own Boeing stock.
So what is that corporation? Well, it's you, if you own Boeing stock, because the owners of that company are the people who own the stock. So we need to realize that it's not one or two rich people that own Boeing. It is a multitude of Americans who have invested a small part of their paycheck in buying a share or 10 shares or a million shares, whatever they can afford, of Boeing stock.
So we've got this concept that came out of the sixties, it's don't steal from the individual, but steal from ``the man.'' In criminal law where I've spent much of my life, that was always an amazing thing for me. ``The man'' seemed to be anybody that you didn't know. But it certainly was the corporations.
And, yet, an awful lot of people have their life savings invested in companies like Boeing, like Shell Oil Company, like Exxon, like United States Steel, if they still exist, I don't know whether they do or not, like Continental Airlines, like American Airlines, like Union Pacific Railroad. Those are all owned by people. People own those corporations.
Why should the National Labor Relations Board tell the representatives of the people that own Boeing stock that they can't be in South Carolina because it's not a union shop?
I don't think they should. I think this bill will pass out of this House and, hopefully, will get the support of the President and the realization by the Democrats over in the Senate that this is an important thing and a very bad precedent for the government to be picking winners and losers.
So we started with this board. Now, I talked about my bill that I have, which we may or may not take up. First off, let me tell you something we've been doing. The Congressional Review Act is in existence at this time, and it allows Congress to review every Federal regulation issued by the government agencies and, by the passing of a joint resolution, overrule those regulations.
Federal agencies shall, that means they must, submit to each House of the Congress, that's the Senate and the House, to the Comptroller General a comprehensive report on any major proposed rule. Congress has 60, and that's legislative days, to pass a joint resolution of disapproval of any rule. The Senate must vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval.
So there is a tool to actually disapprove of some of these rules that we're going to be talking about tonight, and we're going to be using that tool. We've already started using it. We're going to continue to use it, so I'm going to put it down here at the bottom so we'll remember we've got a tool.
People have asked me why I put a bill forward that would be so general as to say let's have a general regulation moratorium on all regulations until 2013. Let me read you some--this is not an original idea by John Carter, that's me. This is some regulations that come, some articles out of some newspapers. Let me just read you a couple of them.
The Detroit News: The flood of Federal regulations coming out of the Obama administration add costs, stifles economic growth and limits job creation. Growth is a smarter way to generate additional taxes from businesses than raising the rates and thus the operating costs. The former approach creates jobs. The latter kills them.
The business community is also warning that a flood of Federal regulations will limit growth and job creation. Obama should suspend implementation of any regulation with the potential impact on the economy until the unemployment rate falls below 6 percent.
The Environmental Protection Agency, in particular, must be throttled. The EPA's war on coal affects power plants that provide roughly half of the Nation's electricity. In Michigan, DTE energy says that the new rules will take 20 percent of its capacity off line within 3 years. Without an assured supply of energy, companies will not invest in new facilities.
That's the clip from the Detroit News.
The Wall Street Journal: Business leaders, ``Stop the Implementation of Job-Destroying Regulations.'' Many of their suggestions are familiar. The CEOs want lower corporate taxes in the U.S., which has among the highest corporate rates in the world, and a moratorium or a rollback of business regulations.
``The government needs to be a better partner with the business world,'' says Magellan Health Services CEO Rene Lerer, echoing a sentiment expressed by many. James Turley, Chairman and CEO of Ernst Young, ``Remove government regulatory policy uncertainty through 2013 by halting initiation or implementation of regulations when such regulations could hurt jobs or economic growth.''
So that's just two quotes out of the newspaper. There are more here. But the point of that being is that the people who create jobs, the job creators are the small and mid-sized businesses of this world, and the big businesses for that matter. But the real generator is the small businessman in America. Over 90 percent of all the jobs held by anybody in this country, those people work for small businesses.
Now, what's a small business?
Well, the other day we had, sitting up here listening to the President's speech, we had a franchise holder for McDonald's franchises. McDonald's hamburger place is a small business, as it belongs to a person who has purchased the franchise for that business.
We had another man with Sports Cuts, which is a haircut franchise. And these are individual people who get a national name, and a national product, and they pay money for that, for the right to use that national name and national product, but they are a small business, usually run but one or two individuals. And they're telling us the uncertainty of regulatory procedures of the Federal Government is making their job untenable.
I'm joined here by my good friend from Illinois (Mr. Manzullo). I think he might have something to say about this. Don, would you like to take the mike? I'll be glad to yield you whatever time you'd like to have concerning regulations and how you see them affecting folks in your part of the world.
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Mr. CARTER. Recapturing my time, I thank my friend and say that I hope that all of those Members of this House and others that might be listening heard you say America could lose this industry. You didn't say that the world would lose this industry because, quite honestly, once again, a great industry that produces good-paying jobs will, all of a sudden--not because of taxes or not because of high labor costs, which are a lot of the arguments we get--a new factor, the regulatory industry, drove this prosperous industry out of our country because of possibly voodoo science that they didn't investigate enough. They've got a concept, and they stick to that concept on their science arguments and they don't go outside the scope of their view of the world.
They're going to shut down an industry. But are we going to stop making plastics? No. The world's not. Just the United States is going to stop. And then people say, Why are all of these jobs offshore?
It's not just the cost of labor that drives people offshore. Our regulatory agencies have as much to do with that as anything there is out there.
The President made a joke recently where he said he found out that all shovel-ready jobs are not shovel-ready jobs. Well, let me tell you. I haven't checked all of those jobs he's talking about, but I'd be willing to bet you that there's either an endangered species or, in some form or fashion, the Environmental Protection Agency is in between the shovel taking the first load of dirt on a project and somebody trying to get a project done, because it's the agencies that are shutting down our highways. They're shutting down our bridges. They're shutting down our sewer projects, our water projects, and sometimes for very bizarre reasons.
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Mr. CARTER. Reclaiming my time to just continue this conversation, I think it's very interesting what you said about the pipeline. That pipeline is bringing heavy crude from Canada to the United States to be refined. Now, let's just point out that it was in The Wall Street Journal sometime this week, as I read it this week, that Alberta, Canada is just exploding. Everybody has got these great jobs because they are going forward, their environmentalists are staying out of the way, and they're developing this heavy crude industry, this tar they've got there, tar sands; and that's what we're shipping down here to be refined in this proposed pipeline, down to where the market is in the United States. Canada is one of our largest, if not the largest single, exporter to the United States of petroleum products.
Now, what's interesting about this picture is that same field that's across that imaginary line in Canada is also down in North Dakota, and we know it's there. It's in Montana, and we know it's there. And it's probably in a lot of other places that are called ``public lands'' in this country right now. Those are lands held by the Federal Government. They own those lands.
Now, what does that mean? That means that they're not letting the drilling going on or the exploration going on on our land for the same petroleum products that we're buying from Canada and building a pipeline to ship down here. Why? EPA and others, regulators and bureaucrats, are preventing the development of those products. Now, it all goes back to the global warming or climate change argument or whatever this whole big umbrella is over this whole idea.
But you wonder why there are no jobs; 250,000 jobs have been created in Alberta, Canada in the last 18 months. 250,000 jobs all to do with that oil. Right across the border, we could be doing the same thing.
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Mr. MANZULLO. And it's not just oil; it's natural gas.
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Mr. CARTER. It's natural gas. And I will tell you something else. I was just down in San Antonio meeting with some friends down there. One of them is a banker, and he said, Go to south Texas. Man, you should see what's happening in south Texas. Besides the oil and gas we'd already found many years ago down there, they have now found out that there is shale oil and shale gas down in the ground, amazing deposits down there. They're going to have to be using the fracking system to get it out.
But already they're building hotels in towns that only have 8,000 people in them. They're building four-story hotels. Why? Because for the foreseeable future, working men and women are going to be in those hotels, because they've got a job there, until they can find a place to live. Builders are already looking at developing subdivisions, and the people who sell work boots are selling work boots in south Texas. And all those periphery things that come off of that discovery and that development of that discovery create thousands and thousands of jobs.
It multiplies as it goes, just exactly as you were describing, Mr. Manzullo; and that's the exact kind of progression that will bring this country back if we let those folks continue to manufacture.
I guarantee you there's not a person that's watching this or listening to this or who is in this Chamber that there's not somewhere almost within their reach something that's made out of styrene that you've just been describing to us. It is almost as abundant as wood. In fact, if you remember the old movie ``The Graduate,'' what was the advice the guy gave the kid? ``Plastics.'' That's the future: plastics.
Well, we're in that future now, and it is the future. In fact, one of the reasons we have such an outstanding medical world that we live in is we're not having to rewash and sterilize metal and glass instruments. We're making all of our instruments out of this plastic with that styrene in it, and then we're throwing them away. They're disposable. We're making them at a price where we can dispose of them for health purposes, which has changed the lives of many thousands and thousands of Americans in this country every single day, the health pluses of having that product on the market.
But with the government's interference, we will be getting it from China or India or who knows where. But it won't be from here, and no American will have a good job on that. It's almost criminal.
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Mr. CARTER. I thank you for joining me. And if you would like to stay, we'd love to have you.
Going back to another quote: CNBC, CEO: ``From a regulation standpoint, government just needs to get out of the way. We asked several CEOs leading up to the speech what bold steps Obama could take to reduce the 9.1 percent unemployment rate. John Schiller, chairman and CEO of Energy XXI, said, `If the government would get out of the way, from a regulation standpoint, and let us, XXI, do what we do good, you'll see us continue to hire and grow this economy. I think that's a message from across the board,' said Schiller.''
From the Washington Examiner: ``If President Obama was serious about boosting job creation, he would stop his administration from creating even more regulatory uncertainty. This is the President who once blithely quipped, `You know, the business community is always complaining about regulations.'
``But Friday's decision can only be viewed positively if it is indeed a first step. There are still six other proposed regulations from the EPA that would cost the economy dearly. According to the EPA's own estimates, the cost to small businesses for obtaining carbon emission permits alone would be $76 billion per year, not including the hundreds of billions of dollars in widespread economic damage from higher energy prices. If Obama really wanted to remove `regulatory uncertainty' from the economy, he would use his Thursday jobs speech''--that was last Thursday--``to announce that he is ordering EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to halt all of her agency's work on global warming regulations.''
Now, these are just some quotes from some of the media out there that are talking about job creation. I'm for a moratorium. We'll see if we can get that done.
Red tape reality: the White House promises to save $10 billion in 5 years. The White House just put forward $17.7 billion in regulations in only 2 months.
The next chart, this is something we call the TRAIN Act. The purpose of the TRAIN Act is simple: Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation, TRAIN. These guys sit up late at night to figure out how they can have an acronym to cover whatever they're doing. But this is very simple: TRAIN delays MACT and CSAPR--these are two huge rulemaking issues which I will tell you about in just a minute--until the full impact of the Obama administration's regulatory agenda has been studied. They basically say 1,000 power plants are expected to be affected. The annual electricity bill increases in many parts of the country from 12 to 24 percent.
Now, what is this? The administration's new Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule for utility plants will affect the electricity prices for nearly all American consumers. A total of 1,000 plants are expected to be affected. Middle class Americans can expect their bills to go up between 12 and 22 percent.
Mr. Sullivan is saying, look, let's make an economic analysis before you actually impose these regulations, see what it's actually going to do. How is it going to hurt the individual consumer, and how, by the way, is it going to hurt the act of ability of people to get a job?
If you are going to shut down in some instances up to a third to half of power plants, because they are either coal emission power plants or because they've got boiler issues that have got to be dealt with, then what happens? You are talking about people's jobs, getting laid off. When it comes to coal-powered plants, there are some places where the majority of the electricity in the Midwest, for instance, is coal power.
Now if you are going to shut down coal-powered plants to make them retool for new regulations, here is an interesting thought: They have already retooled to put scrubbers on these things three or four times. It's another set of retooling on top of the retooling before the retooling and the other retooling. When they get to this thing they find at some point the guy is going to say, my gosh, I have had about all of this regulation I can stand.
I am going to tell you an amusing story, but it's true. When I was a young lawyer I worked for the Agriculture Committee of the Texas House of Representatives as their lawyer, and we had a hearing one day about new Federal regulations on sausage manufacturers.
Now in Texas our heritage has a lot of folks from the sausage manufacturing parts of Europe. We have Germans, we have Czechs, we have Swedes, we have Norwegians, we have a lot of people who in their old country, they made sausage. And so we have lots and lots of small sausage operations in Texas. Almost every town you go to in Texas, some butcher shop somewhere is making their own best sausage made in Texas.
You can go to our grocery store and you will see sausage that's produced--I am just talking about Texas now--in multiple cities all over the State. Most of them are small towns.
Now, this is a true story. We were having testimony about new government regulations concerning the manufacture of sausage by small businesses. They brought a man in who was in a prison uniform from the State prison in Huntsville and they put him on the stand.
They said, why are you here? He said, well, my brother and I, we made the best sausage in east Texas. But this guy came in our office and he says, I've got these regulations here. You're not going to be able to make this in your butcher shop anymore. You're going to have to redo your butcher shop.
He gave us a list of stuff we had to do. We took it to our banker. He said, you boys have got the best sausage operation in east Texas. I'll loan you $25,000, you can fix your place up. So they put in tile floors with drains, and they put in different butcher blocks, this, that, and the other. He said, we borrowed $25,000.
About 8 months later that same old boy came through the door and said, I've got some bad news for you, gentlemen. We've got new regulations. All that stuff you had to do last time, it's not good enough. Everything has got to be stainless steel. You've got to have a cement floor with a power drain in it. You've got to have certain kinds of saws.
So me and my brother, we went to the banker and we said, hey, what are we going to do? He said, well, that's another $50,000 but you're good, you've got a great business. I'm going to loan you that $50,000. You boys do the work.
So we did the work, and it was working great. We were manufacturing sausage. We still made the best sausage in east Texas.
Then that same old boy came walking in our door, and he said, I got bad news for you, boys. And that's when I shot him.
Now, that's a true story, and he was serving time for manslaughter in a penitentiary for shooting that regulator. I am not in any way advocating shooting regulators. I am telling you how frustrated a small businessman can get just for regulations on the manufacture of sausage in his hometown butcher shop.
Now, think how frustrated an employer gets whether a regulation causes him to lay off one-third of his workforce to afford to do what he is doing. This is the whole concept of why regulations have to be so carefully planned and done, and you have to have good studies done as to the economic effect, as John Sullivan, my friend from Oklahoma, has brought before this House.
This is called the Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Relief Act. This has to do with Boiler MACT, hospitals, factories, colleges, thousands of major American employers use boilers that will be impacted by the EPA's new Boiler MACT rules. These new stringent rules will impose billions of dollars in capital and compliance costs, increase the cost of many goods and services, and put over 200,000 American jobs at risk.
The American forest and paper industry, for example, will see an additional burden of at least $5 billion to $7 billion. Morgan Griffith of Virginia has this bill which provides a legislative stay of the four interrelated rules issued by the EPA in March of this year. This legislation would also provide the EPA with at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize new regulations that are achievable and do not destroy jobs, and provide employers with the ability to extend compliance on these rules.
These rules, as they stand, are business-killing rules today; 200,000 people will lose their jobs if these rules are implemented. This will be brought up in October, around the 3rd of October, in that week, to basically put a hold on these job-killing regulations.
The President himself said we need to examine regulations and see how they are going to kill jobs. Well, here's one right here, Mr. President: 200,000 jobs at a minimum will be lost, maybe forever, and cost us $5 to $7 billion in just one industry.
Now, that's money, that is capital that has been put into a different project than building and expanding your business. That means instead of hiring people you are laying off people.
Now, why in the world, in the environment where we have 9 percent, 9.1 percent unemployment, we have been teetering around 10 percent now for almost a year, why in the world would we want to have these people who work for us in the government--they are not elected, they are appointed people, they are hired, just like anybody else--that are out there thinking up ways to shut off people, good, honest hard- working men and women, in this country's jobs because of some concept they have on making an improvement.
Let's make improvements. Let's keep our environment clean, but let's do it in a way that remembers that we are part of the environment too.
Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time remains?
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Mr. CARTER. This is something I have worked on. I have worked on it now for almost 6 months. This is cement, and John Sullivan, who has been working with us on this, is bringing this up that week of October 3.
The Cement MACT and two related rules are expected to affect approximately 100 cement plants in America. Now, when we say cement we are talking about a process that makes that powdery gravel and sand that, if you go to the--I won't advertise for anybody--but if you go to one of these stores that sells stuff for construction, you will see these sacks of stuff that say something ``crete''--``cement crete'' or something like it. And in that sack is a bunch of stuff, and you add water to it, you make concrete. Gardeners use it, everybody uses it.
On a bigger scale you pour slabs for foundations for buildings. On an even bigger scale you put special reinforced steel in the cement pour, the concrete pour, and you make pre-stressed concrete walls which most of our big buildings in this country and around the world are built with. In fact, concrete is the number two building material in the world. The number one building material in the world is water.
Of the elements that are used in building things, Portland cement is number two, and it's the process that makes the powder that binds it to make concrete.
Now, this is our process. We discovered it. We did it. We originated the prestressed concrete that many of these buildings here in Washington, D.C. that aren't marble are built out of. And yet our regulatory process has the potential to drive anywhere from a third to a half of all the cement manufacturers, the people that make the powder that binds the concrete, out of the country.
Now, we are doing it for the good of the environment. Right? Well, we have scrubbers on our cement plants, and we have lots of things that we have cleaned up in our cement process. But our competitors in China and India have nothing. I mean, zero. They don't have anything to do with cleaning up the environment. So is it really going to clean up the world's environment, all the way around the world environment, by taking it away from a place that does it right and putting it in a place that does it wrong? A $7 billion industry could cost as much as $5 billion to fix these regulations. Put a pencil to that. I mean, they are worth $7 billion, and $5 billion more has to be put into it.
And the only solution that many of them see is just close down the plants in the United States, fire the people that are there. Hello? What kinds of jobs are these? The lowest paid man that works at a Portland cement factory makes around $65,000 a year, a laborer. And then the technicians get up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. These are not minimum-wage jobs; these are the kind of jobs that every American dreams about, the kind of job that every family dreams is the basis of their family.
And because of the regulatory analysis of some people, they have decided that they are going to impose regulations that basically drive these people off to Mexico or to China or to India. And they bring up issues like mercury. But studies, their own people's studies, show that the majority of the mercury that is in the air right now in the United States comes from China and India because they don't clean things up over there, and it blows over here from China and India. So we are going to make it better by sending more over to China and India? I don't think so.
But what about the American jobs that are here. What if they let these people thrive. If they thrive, building materials stay reasonable. We don't have to ship building materials from China to build our next house, to pour our next concrete slab. And so what happens, the price of everything goes up. Can we afford that next house? Who knows. This is what regulations do. It is a compounding effect that costs us jobs.
I see one of the smartest men in Congress here, Mr. Gohmert, over there. Is he here to talk on a different subject? I know he is smart enough to talk about this if he wants to. Louie is one of my colleagues from Texas, and I'm proud to call him my friend.
Let's go to the next chart. We don't have a board for this, but let me say something. I'll tell you about south Texas and the jobs that they are creating down there. Just to give you an example of how excited people are about that find of natural gas in south Texas--and now remember, Texans are oil and gas people. Remember this, too: when Texas came into the Union as a country, we had a special treaty which let us keep our public lands. So the Federal Government doesn't tell us what we do with our land in Texas because we own our public lands. And all of this land that is going to be drilled on in south Texas is owned by people, not by the Federal Government. So they can't keep us from leasing our land out to drill these wells.
Now, they can keep us from using the process it takes to break up that shale to capture this gas, and that's what they're trying to do. Now, we created an Energy Department in this country, I forget, 30 years ago. And its goal was to make us energy independent in our lifetime. Well, I don't know whose lifetime it was, but some of those people are already dead, because the truth is we are further from being energy dependent than the day that they created the Energy Department. Way further.
At that time, less than 30 percent or 40 percent of our oil and gas came from overseas. Now we are in the 80 percentile range. Now, why in the world when we know that we've got it and we know we're going to use it, we have to use it, why would we keep buying it from Saudi Arabia and other places like Venezuela that hate us? Why don't we just get what we've got? Go down there and get what we've got. Out in the gulf and in south Texas and in the great State of Pennsylvania, where they've got a huge shale gas find, ask those people how they like their shale gas. They love it; 25,000 jobs have been created in that part of Pennsylvania in the last year and a half. The same shale goes into New York, and it is going other places. So there are jobs that get created by this.
But here is another peripheral thing. Because there is no place to stay in south Texas--it is just a bunch of little bitty towns down there--big hotel firms are coming down there and building hotels down there because they see this as a long-term operation down there, and it is worth investing and building hotels and motels so the people working down there will have a place to stay.
What comes with that, restaurants. And what comes with that, washaterias, and all of the other things that you need to help people grow. And then when people settle, what is the first thing that they are looking for, an apartment or a house to live in. They get tired of staying in a hotel.
One company, I won't use their name, one company went down to south Texas and leased a whole eight-story hotel for 2 years. That's how convinced they are this is going to be an economic boom in south Texas.
Why would we ever want to stop that. And yet there are people who are continuously bombarding this industry and saying that this terrible shale fracking process is poisoning the water supply. But there is no evidence, real evidence that proves that.
By the way, anybody that tells you that they smell it in their water doesn't know what they are talking about because natural gas doesn't smell. It smells in your house because they put a chemical in there that
makes it smell so you know when your gas is leaking. But it doesn't smell when it comes out of the ground.
I worked in that industry as a kid. I had the crummy job of actually digging up one of those smell machines that puts the smell in natural gas, and I could testify under oath, it's the foulest-smelling thing that you ever saw, but they have a machine that puts it into your gas so you can smell it when it goes into your home. There are a lot of people who are just being crazy over some of these issues.
Look at this, coal. First, I was talking tonight at supper with one of our Members from Kentucky, and he said they've issued two coal mining permits in the last 2 years, I think he said. And they are one of the largest coal-mining areas in the entire country. They are doing everything they possibly can to kill the coal industry. And yet we have an abundance of coal, and cleaning up the coal process has been the goal of the coal industry and the manufacturing world. We have some States like Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, those States along the Ohio River, and many of the States on the east coast, and even this city have coal power plants. In fact, in some places the predominant power plant is the coal power plant.
Now, if they shut those down and take them offline, how are we going to have enough electricity for everybody? We already worry about brownouts and blackouts if we have hot weather. How are we going to have enough electricity if we're going to take away the natural resources?
And who's going to take it away? A vote of this Congress? No. We've had that vote, and it didn't happen. A guy who works for the government that sits in his little office in a cubicle and decides that he doesn't think we ought to have coal, should he and a group of people be able to write a regulation that shuts down a whole industry based on possibly bad science? That's a question we have to ask ourselves. And do we all want to sit around in the dark as we ponder because if we shut off what we use to power our power industry, we won't have any electrical power. This is for the residuals. I guess it's the ash, is the best word I can say.
Now, what in the world is anybody worried about coal ash for? Well, I think everybody in this room, if they don't have sheetrock in their house, there's something probably strange about it, because most everybody has what we in our part of the world call sheetrock. Now, up here they may call it wallboard or something else. Well, part of the component of sheetrock is coal ash. And yet this bill creates an enforceable minimal standard that allows coal ash to be used in the products it's being used in with appropriate studies. If they do the pending rules for coal ash, there's another thousand jobs that's going to be lost.
So just in our talk tonight there's 300,000 jobs.
We're almost through this stuff, but there's plenty more. I've just got 10 of the hundreds that have been passed, in just the last 2 months, of new regulations. These are just 10. But in these short 10, now we're at over 300,000 jobs lost when these regulations go into effect.
Most of these are current events. This will happen before the end of the year or certainly before the middle of next year. So, as we are trying to create jobs, we're losing them as fast as we can create them. And why? Because of the regulations.
Now, we can regulate without shutting things down. There's a smart way to do things and there's a stupid way to do things. Let's do it the smart way. Let's get the politics--and by ``politics,'' I mean the environmental politics--out of this process and let's get off to where we need to be. And that is: What do we need, how do we accomplish it, and how do we keep working while we do it? If we can do that, which is certainly not flying to the Moon. It's less complicated than that. If we can do that, we can start solving the job problem we've got in this country because we can put people back to work.
I'll give you one final example that we don't have a board on. I talked earlier about people who have franchises. If you wanted to buy a McDonald's hamburger franchise for your hometown--I don't know what it costs, but it's not cheap because it's a moneymaking business. And when you bought it, you would be a small business owner. You would own one McDonald's store. I think that would be a pretty good definition of a small business owner.
Now, we have written a regulation--there's more pages in that regulation than there are chairs in this room--called the Dodd-Frank bill. It regulates the financial industry. As a result of the Dodd-Frank bill, if you had the ability and the creditworthiness to get the money, to borrow the investment money and put up some of your own to buy a McDonald's franchise, the Dodd-Frank bill has put so many regulations on these folks that the availability of capital--and ``capital'' is not a dirty word; ``capital'' is another word for investment money--availability of capital for these small businesses is almost impossible.
And yet our banks are overflowing with capital. It's not that they don't want to make loans. It's, first, small business men are scared of this environment and they don't want to borrow. But if they do want to borrow, the regulations have made it so difficult, they give up and they don't borrow the money. Bankers don't make a living if somebody doesn't borrow the money. That's how they make a living.
So, everything in our economy is interrelated and tied together. As we talk about small business, it is the driving force for the American economy. If you keep small business from creating new jobs, you keep our economy from growing. These regulations and others we'll talk about in the future are just that--job-killing regulations. And if they've killed existing jobs, they're certainly not going to be helpful in creating new jobs.
I yield back the balance of my time.