U.S. Sen. David Vitter today made the following statement in preview of President Obama's State of the Union address scheduled for tonight. News reports have indicated that the president will spotlight energy policy as part of his speech.
"I'm excited that a major portion of President Obama's speech will apparently be about American energy as well as how it can grow American manufacturing. My question: Is he serious about it? Here's my simple 3-point test:
"First, increase Gulf and other offshore production dramatically so we don't see more rigs leave the Gulf, as 11 have already done since 2010. Get permitting in the Gulf UP 40 percent from before the BP spill rather than DOWN 40 percent, as it is now. Redo the 5-year offshore lease plan so that it's double the last, not half as much as it is now.
"Second, stop the EPA's unfounded, tabloid science attack on fracking. This is a process at the heart of the biggest U.S. natural gas and manufacturing opportunities of our lifetime.
"And third, build the Keystone XL pipeline NOW. This project is huge, especially for U.S. jobs and energy since it has needed on-ramps to get oil from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to Gulf Coast refineries."
In addition, Vitter has arranged for the entire Louisiana delegation in the U.S. House to sit with him at the State of the Union. They will meet on the House of Representatives side of the Capitol and proceed to the House Chamber from there.