U.S. Sen. David Vitter made the following statement regarding President Obama's speech on energy policy. Earlier this month Vitter introduced a bill, S.2100, along with U.S. Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), to prohibit opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve unless the Keystone XL Pipeline permit is issued.
"President Obama didn't even mention the Keystone XL pipeline in his energy policy speech today which was yet another example of the president putting a political agenda in front of common-sense energy policy," Vitter said. "No one is claiming that the Keystone XL pipeline automatically equals $2.00 per gallon gas, but it does equal 700,000 barrels of oil per day and 20,000 American jobs. It could also offset six percent of total U.S. daily oil imports, or the amount imported from Oman, Chad, Algeria, and Iraq combined and that's a step in the right direction. I actually agree with the president on one thing -- there is no "silver bullet,' and we do need an all-of-the-above strategy. But that means focusing on proven energy sources like oil and gas first, and letting other, newer energy sources succeed and fail in the marketplace. Unfortunately, this administration's approach has been to throw billions of dollars at unproven energy projects while just hoping that the technology would catch up."
Vitter, Hoeven and Lugar have also introduced legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project under Congress's authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.
Immediately after the State of the Union last month, Vitter and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) urged President Obama to lift restrictions on the development of oil and gas, as well as alternative sources of energy, on federal lands in order to spur job creation and boost the economy. They also explained why making the strategic reserve the only tool available would be a mistake, and that approving Keystone XL pipeline and providing more access to both onshore and offshore resources would be a better way forward.
Last year, Vitter introduced 3-D: The Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy, and Deficit Reduction Act of 2011, which would create more than 2 million jobs, $10 trillion in economic activity and $2 trillion in federal tax receipts (according to conservative 30-year estimates) by unleashing America's vast domestic energy potential.