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Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I rise today to point out that affordable American-made energy is the key to economic growth, economic development, and bringing this country out of the grips of the tough economic types that we're in.
I'm blessed to represent south Texas. The district I represent covers some land that's part of the Eagle Ford Shale. There's a big oil and gas play going on there.
You know, it's not just the oilmen that are doing well. It's the restaurateurs that are doing well. I've never seen so many brand-new white pickup trucks. Some of this Texas oil and gas money is helping out the folks in Detroit: General Motors, Dodge, Ford. Some of these guys are even buying the Toyota trucks made in San Antonio, Texas.
It's an economic boom where we're actually struggling to find people to work. You can go to work in a fast-food restaurant for $15 because they're competing with the oil and gas industry.
And you know what else is happening?
The low-cost natural gas that's abundantly available, they're saying 100 years' supply in Texas is creating new factories for manufacturing. In Corpus Christi alone, we've got two different steel mills coming in and using that gas to fire their plant. We're looking at a new plastics facility coming in.
And numerous other industries throughout the entire Texas coast, and even further inland, are realizing that affordable, American-made energy makes the United States competitive again. Even with the higher wages that we pay our employees in countries like China, with our low-cost energy, we can beat that.
Natural gas in the United States, especially in south Texas, we're in the $4 range. If you were to buy that same natural gas and have it in Japan, it's $18. We've got a huge opportunity here. We've got a huge economic advantage.
House Republicans, myself included, we support an all-of-the-above energy, and the technology is going to come. We're going to get the technology for wind. We're going to get the technology for solar. We're going to get the storage technology in batteries.
All that stuff Chairman Smith was talking about that's going on with the Department of Energy and the Science and Technology Committee, those technologies are coming. But as we've seen with things like Solyndra and the tax credit that goes to wind farms, they're not economical today.
We have low-cost fossil fuel that will bridge us until those technologies are ready for prime time and ready to go. We need to take advantage of it. We need to open up the infrastructure with things like the Keystone pipeline. We need to open up Federal land so we can charge a royalty to the oil and gas companies for producing that on Federal land. That will bring money into the Federal budget that we could use for a wide variety of things: lowering the deficit, repairing our decaying infrastructure needs.
We need to be a country of ``yes'' to all-of-the-above energy, and it will solve our economic crisis, and we will have a better life for every single American.
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