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President Obama's Proposed 2012-2017 Offshore Drilling Lease Sale Plan Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LANDRY. Madam Speaker, the rhetoric here just does not meet the facts. Our energy policy in this country has continued to fail us because we have spent money in areas that are getting us no results. We know that to lower costs for all Americans, we must lower their energy bills. We know that the cheapest form of energy out there is oil and gas; and yet the President puts out a bare-bones policy, yet claims to want to create jobs.

The lowest unemployment rate in this country exists in North Dakota, and the reason that unemployment is so low there is because they understand that drilling equals jobs. Now, let's see what's going on up in the Dakotas, because if we would believe what the gentlemen and ladies across the aisle would lead us to believe, that the areas that we would like to open up do not contain any resources, then they would believe, as the USGS believed in 2002, that the Marcellus shale in the Pennsylvania area only contained about 2 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Well, today, through the hard work of Americans and private industry, we have realized that there are 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In the Gulf of Mexico in the 1980s, there was an assessment that believed that only 6.25 billion barrels of oil was located in the gulf, but yet today, 15.5 billion barrels have been produced.

Now, the problem is that it takes a while for private industry to recognize where these resources are, to be able to find them, to explore for them and then to determine how much is in the ground. And so that takes time. So what the President does is he takes those properties, those Federal lands, those Federal properties, off the table. It doesn't allow those companies to go out and explore to determine whether or not we can actually be energy independent, which everyone here on both sides of the aisle continues to come up to these microphones and claim they want.

Well, we can do that. And all we're asking in our plan is that we allow these properties to be surveyed and looked at and be made available.

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Mr. LANDRY. Make these properties available so that private industry can come in to determine the amount of reserves that can be extracted out of the ground and given to Americans to reduce their overall energy consumption.

So, Madam Speaker, I will tell you that what the President does is fails the American people when it comes to creating jobs and lowering the cost of energy not only at the gas pump, but in their electric bills, in the manufacturing centers around this country and in the steel mills. In every sector of this country that uses energy, the failure for us to tap into our resources and to review and get a solid assessment on the amount of resources available to the American people is being missed here.

So I certainly hope that Members would reject the President's plan and take up our plan, which is going to expand the amount of Federal properties available to explore for oil and gas and lower the cost and create jobs for all Americans.

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Mr. LANDRY. Madam Speaker, I just wanted to take a moment to discuss with my good friend from Massachusetts some of the statistics that he was laying out for the American people here on the floor.

The problem is that we are lacking the demand for energy right now because people are out of work. Because of high unemployment, people are not driving back and forth. That means they're not utilizing gasoline or energy. So, he's right; the amount of oil that we're having to import today has been reduced because people are out of work.

Now, what happens if--and this is a big ``if''--we can crank this economy back up and we can do what everyone here wants to do, and that is to create jobs? Well, the problem is that, if we start cranking this economy up and we don't have a solid energy policy in place, gasoline prices are going to rise and we're going to end up back in a recession.

So I would like the gentleman from Massachusetts to join me in saying, You know what? We're going to put the country on a sustainable path. We're going to ensure that when Americans get the jobs that we're going to help create here, we're going to make sure that the economy can continue.

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Mr. LANDRY. We're going to ensure that that economic expansion is going to last a long, long time.

So again, I would urge the gentleman to reject the President's plan. Join us. Give private industry an opportunity to see what is out there. Once and for all, remove the shackles that America has chained to OPEC and let us be truly energy independent.

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