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Public Statements

Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FLEMING. I want to thank the committee chairman for allowing me to speak.

First, I would like to agree with the gentleman from New Jersey. He is absolutely correct that oil production has increased in recent years and that our dependence on oil has actually decreased over the same period of time.

But why? Because of the private sector.

The private sector industry has been out there and has been drilling in new areas like North Dakota and in my own home State of Louisiana. It's the private sector that's driving this. It's producing more oil than we ever have, and there is much more that we can have.

On the other hand, on public lands, which have been under the control of the President, we have seen a reduction of 15 percent. So there is no way in the world we could give our President, President Obama, credit for that unless, of course, we said, Well, indeed, the private sector didn't build it--he did. But I really don't think that's the case.

Mr. Chairman, I stand in support of H.R. 6082.

What we are seeing in President Obama's lease plan is a study in contrasts. When demand for energy was up and prices were spiking in 2008, the Bush administration opened more areas for drilling. That's just commonsense economics. Here we are 4 years later with high energy prices again, and this President's solution is to propose a plan that opens no new areas of drilling.

The Obama administration pounced on the BP spill 2 years ago to ratchet down our Nation's ability to drill for oil, and then it dragged its feet in issuing new drilling permits. All the while, taxpayer dollars were being thrown at failed wind and solar energy projects like Solyndra and many others too numerous to name today.

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Mr. FLEMING. This legislation is smart policy and is a return to common sense. Our country needs energy, and it needs jobs. The President's plan doesn't help, but H.R. 6082 does. It will open areas for drilling that never should have been closed off, and that will lead to more jobs and more cost-effective energy for Americans.

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