Last week, Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) delivered the following statement on the Floor of the United States House of Representatives:
"In addition to our rich agricultural land, California's San Joaquin Valley is also blessed with an abundance of oil, natural gas, and renewable energy sources. These resources should be utilized to create jobs, lower energy costs for American families and reduce our nation's dependency on foreign energy.
"Instead, misguided public policy and overreaching federal regulations have cost the Central Valley thousands of jobs and increased the price at the pump for all Americans.
"Over the last several years, there have been dramatic changes in the energy policy of the United States and as a result, energy prices have significantly increased.
"Cap and Trade legislation failed to pass the House in 2009, however, Washington bureaucrats have already implemented several parts of Cap and Trade through erroneous EPA regulations. These regulations put limitations on carbon emissions, diminishing oil and gas production in my district.
"Since 1976, the number of environmental regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations has increased 25-fold. Regulations developed and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have had a devastating effect on energy production in the Central Valley as the EPA and other members of the federal environmental bureaucracy continue to wage war on energy producers, costing California thousands of high-quality, good paying jobs.
"By taking advantage of the natural resources in California, we can provide Americans with quality jobs, restore our economy, and reduce the struggle families face every day due to high energy costs.
"The most efficient path toward reducing our dependence on foreign oil and lowering energy costs is an all-of-the-above approach that includes conventional sources of energy as well as renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar, and wind power.
"My district is home to a growing number of wind and solar farms. Developing market-based alternative energy sources will help the United States meet their energy independence goals. However, in order to meet our country's energy demand we must rely on a mix of traditional means while we continue to develop alternative energy solutions for the future.
"Promoting energy production from California's Monterey shale, located directly under my district, could bring in 2.8 million jobs and raise an additional $25 billion in new revenues by the end of the decade. This would not only strengthen the local economy, but the state's economy as a whole.
"Natural Gas is a safe and responsible energy source with high economic output. In 2010, over 22,750 jobs were created in California alone. Studies show that natural gas production will save each American household approximately $926 per year between 2012 and 1015.
"Hydroelectric power accounts for 63 percent of the clean power in this country and 8% of total electricity. Expanding hydropower production would further increase our energy independence on foreign countries. The Central Valley has the available workforce to construct and operate hydro power facilities throughout the Sierra Nevadas, which would not only produce energy to be used by the entire country, but also provide the Central Valley with the ability to store a clean, reliable water supply.
"My home state of California, and the entire United States, has been blessed with abundant conventional and renewable energy resources. Our constituents should not have to make tough decisions regarding their daily energy consumption when our nation has the ability to produce enough energy to meet its needs. They should be able to water their yards, cool their homes in the summer, and drive their children to school without facing expensive energy bills and high prices at the pump."