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Issues Affecting the World

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KING of Iowa. Madam Speaker, I am quite pleased to come to the floor and be recognized to address you. I am especially honored to be the first Member of Congress to address this Congress after Dean Popps has been appointed, as has just been read into the Record. I want to talk about two patriotic Americans this evening, and then transition to some other subject matter.

Dean Popps is one of those who has served his country, and done it very well. He was one of the first people to go into Iraq as part of the team with Paul Bremer, a person who gave up a pretty easy path here in the United States that he had earned for himself to take on a very difficult and challenging path to serve his country. I have seen him stand as we loaded wounded on to planes at Landstuhl, his hand over his heart and a tear in his eye.

And he will serve this country very well on the appointment that has just been read into the Record. And I look forward to the results of that service as I have seen the results of his past service. It is a matter of coincidence that I arrive here to hear the reading, and I can't pass up the opportunity to say a few kind words about the most qualified individual that could possibly come forward to serve on the commission. I look forward to that service, Madam Speaker.

Then, I also have come to the floor to convey a message, that conveys a message to you, Madam Speaker, that reflects across the United States Congress in listening to the remarks that were made by the previous speakers, including the gentleman from Florida, about our operations in this global war on terror; and global war on Islamic Jihadists is a more appropriate way to address our enemy.

Our enemy has a global presence, and they are attacking us globally and they have been doing that for 20 or more years, perhaps more than 25 years, in the modern era here, and we need to recognize who they are. Our soldiers and our troops recognize who they are, but there seems to be a myopic vision on the part of a lot of Members of Congress that happen to be right now in the majority. And I regret that I have seen this war turned into a political tug-of-war rather than a policy that we are committed to, and we are committed to in large numbers, to grant the authority to engage in the liberation of the Iraqi people.

And now that this has gone on for a while, and even though the casualties in the beginning were far, far less than those predicted by the very detractors today that say that the accumulated casualties over the last 5 years are more than this Nation can bear and that we should leave Iraq under any circumstances, according to their view, and let the calamity begin.

Well, the calamity began in the aftermath of Vietnam, and the body count by the time the killing fields in Cambodia were totaled up was some number between 2 million and 3 million people.

But today, because of the courageous actions on the part of all of our military, and that absolutely includes our Commander in Chief, the 25 or 26 or so million in Afghanistan breathe free. They voted for the first time on that piece of real estate on the planet, ever, because of U.S. and coalition forces liberating them. And there have been a number of elections in Iraq and another one coming up, a place where we can't say that they actually had a representative form of government. No constitutional republic existed there.

Today, they have a significant measure of freedom, and in fact their safety and security has improved dramatically, partly and in a large way because of the result of the surge, also because of the result of the diplomacy that takes place, not on the part of some of the self-appointed emissaries that think that they should be the Lone Ranger on American foreign policy, those who don't seem to understand our Constitution or the Logan Act.

No, Madam Speaker. I am talking about the American soldier, the American Marine, the American Airman, and the Sailors too, and particularly the Seabees that are on the ground, that are playing soccer with the Iraqi kids and handing out candy and nurturing them and saving children, saving their lives, and teaching them a little bit of English and learning a little bit of Arabic and being part of the cultural exchange. Those are the people that are earning the peace, and their lives are on the line, and every one of them is a volunteer. And they want to complete their mission, Madam Speaker.

This brings me to a message that I received in my e-mail, I am going to say a couple of weeks ago that I received this e-mail. It is from a Captain Sean P. O'Brien, 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, a forward operating base somewhere in Iraq, and I will not divulge that location. I have watched as an older boy and then a young man, Sean O'Brien, grow up and learn patriotism and the cost of freedom, and know that some had to serve and some would sacrifice, and he volunteered to do so. He is a decorated veteran. He received a Purple Heart in Afghanistan, and went back into the theater of war and now he is there in Iraq. And he sent this e-mail to me, and, Madam Speaker, I would like to read it into the Record.

Hello again from Baghdad. I am not sure what is going on in the news these days, but I would like to offer another perspective.

As important as it is to the media to sensationalize a story, the nuisance of these attacks is just that. If there was ever a time that we were taking the wood to these jerks, it is now. The few that are causing the problems, and I mean the few, seem to be cut off, and they are fighting like it. They are making incredibly huge tactical errors, and their support seems to wane very easily in the face of the coalition and Iraqi Security Forces' resolve.

I have seen with my own eyes the bravery of the Iraqi Army. They really are fighting for their country, and they are making the kinds of sacrifices we like to remind ourselves of our own heroes. The Iraqi police, not as successful, but still holding their own, especially when they know that we have got their backs.

I hate this job. I hate being away from Dawn and the kids, but I love seeing the enemy's cowardice and the inconsistencies disintegrate into their death when they are met with deliberate and disciplined prosecution. They push teachers and kids out of schools and fight from the schoolhouses. They arrange coordinated attacks from mosques. I suppose, as any insurgent would, their best weapon is a booby trap.

By the way, a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government is an insurgent. Please note, established government.

The largest share of the attacks has been aimed at anything that represents the government, not so much coalition forces. Our mission is to protect the populous. The populous wants to be safe, and they demonstrate it. The Iraqi Army is getting stronger every day, and they give their lives for it. The enemy is very reactive and therefore easily predicted.

Something to think about. We are not leaving here. No one has told me this, but I do know that over the last 60 years we still have troops in the following places: Korea, Japan, and Germany. What is the difference? Hazard pay? Only a rhetorical question, he notes.

And Captain O'Brien goes on:

All countries are now contributing culturally and economically. Is the sacrifice any different now than it was then? Was it worth it to help them out? Is it worth it now?

To leave this place would be the same as standing by, idly watching your neighbors's house burn to the ground. It is irresponsible and it is morally wrong to ever consider such a thing.

Freedom is so important. It is one thing to say it; it is another completely to watch someone die for it or for someone else's.

All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. However, as long as the danger of war persists and there is no internal authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense once all peace efforts have failed.

It is personal. The enemy wants to kill us because we are Americans. There is nothing else they want. They hate us; they hate who we are and what we represent. There is nothing to offer an extremist except extreme measures. However, all of that is just an effect.

Is it moral to fight an effect and not a cause? Yes; when your inaction means a culture will suffer for generations.

The real issue to consider is possibly: What is there to gain by a destabilized Iraq? And, who is to gain?

At the end of the day, the evaluation of these conditions and for the moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have the responsibility for the common good. That is you and me, the American.

And back to the destabilizers. Imagine a few of these cowards kidnapping a loved one of yours, beating them, and then filming your loved one on their knees. You hear the words "Allahu Akbar'' chanting in the background, meaning ``God is great,'' and then you watch these hooded cowards saw the head off of your loved one with a dull knife. Fear is their only actual weapon, and this weapon is not effective in the face of a self-aware citizen army and populous such as the Americans and, soon, as the Iraqis will be.

Interesting that Senator Obama wants to immediately sully the prestige of his sought office by offering an open meeting to those who want our Nation to burn. To give away the store is the best analogy I can think of. No matter.

Captain O'Brien goes on: I have faith in the American people not to allow that conflicted man to represent the United States in any way. So naive, yet the amount of naivety seems to demonstrate that his intentions are calculated.

You should be proud of our Joes and Joeys over here. All are still giving some, and some have and are going to give all. But don't mourn them; honor them, and understand the sacrifice they are making and for whom they are making it.

Have a great day. It will be good to come back when we are done.

Captain Sean P. O'Brien, 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Baghdad.

Madam Speaker, that is a sample of the e-mails that I get. And that I think is the most profound one and among the most compelling, and I think it tells the body and the American people what goes on in the minds and the hearts of our uniformed Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors over there.

And as I looked them in the eye on that soil and they ask me, how could anyone consider calling us home before we finish our mission? And they repeat to me that they are all volunteers. Every single one that serves in that theater is a volunteer. They volunteered for their branch of the service. They have, in doing so, that period of time that they have signed up or re-upped for is certainly a period of time in which they knew that they were likely to be deployed over to that part of the world.

They are willing to put their lives on the line for our freedom, our liberty, and our posterity, Madam Speaker. And for us to sit back here and argue that we are tired; we are tired, when they are the ones that are fighting this war? What has America sacrificed? We have sacrificed some of our sons and daughters. We have given them a great deal in Iraq and around the world. Blood and treasure is priceless, and blood is far more priceless than treasure.

We have given them a great deal, but the price that has been paid by the individual American is small in comparison to what is being paid by our military that are standing there in their uniforms, volunteering, saying: Let us complete our mission. Let us be victorious and then come home. Let us leave a legacy of freedom in Iraq and in Afghanistan and across the world.

And think what the map of the world looks like. It sometimes takes courage. Sometimes it takes a level of leadership to do the noble thing. And, Madam Speaker, I wonder sometimes if we have lost our ability to take ourselves back to what is noble and what is right and what is good and what is just.

But Ronald Reagan did the noble thing. He did the noble thing when he gave the speech when he said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.''

And, Madam Speaker, if the American people knew the story on how difficult it was for that language to remain in President Reagan's speech, how many Chicken Littles, how many people that wanted to play the cautious route, those that didn't have the courage, those that didn't want to be, could not and did not have the courage to do the noble thing, tried to pull that language out of Ronald Reagan's speech because they were afraid of what Gorbachev might do. They didn't like the idea that it would be adding to the tension and adding to the friction, because they were afraid of confrontation, Madam Speaker. And to fear confrontation means eventually you will have it, because it is the bullies of the world that will poke their finger in your chest. And if you fear the confrontation and step backwards to avoid the finger in your chest, then the bully will take a step forward and poke his finger in your chest again and again and again.

Countries, dictators, tyrants are the bullies of the world. And when you reach the point where you are up against the wall, then you can decide whether you are going to fight or whether you are going to grovel. But I can tell you, he has chosen that ground, and you make that decision on his terms, not yours.

The American people have been a bold people that have made the decisions on which ground to fight on our terms, not theirs. And Ronald Reagan made that decision when he stepped up and said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.'' And that laid out that inspiration. And a few years later, the wall came tumbling down.

When that wall fell down in Berlin, I watched this unfold on the news, and that was when I knew I needed to go get cable TV and a broader news cycle, because the whole story for the analysts was how families that had been divided by the wall could now come together, and they were breaking champagne bottles in their family reunions on the wall. And some were there with hammers chiseling away at the Berlin wall.

They missed the point. It was weeks and weeks and weeks before you could find a mainstream media, talking head pundit that even would utter the words that were close to the truth that most of us commonsense American people saw as we watched it on TV when the Berlin wall came down, hammers and chisels, a piece at a time. That was literally, literally, the Iron Curtain came crashing down.

The Iron Curtain that was constructed across Europe at Yalta on February 11, 1945 came crashing down beginning November 9, 1989. And the analysts in America didn't understand what that meant, and they didn't understand what it meant when Ronald Reagan said, ``Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.'' They didn't understand what it meant when Pope John Paul, now The Great, uttered his words and weighed in on this and gave an inspiration to the Christian reformation of Europe. And, how those minds and those voices together gave inspiration, along with Margaret Thatcher who, when she looked at Gorbachev and talked with him and met him, said to Ronald Reagan, ``This is a man with whom we can do business.''

And I don't know how good of a business he did for the interests of the Soviet Union since it collapsed some time later, but the business that got done was this, Madam Speaker. The strategy, the noble strategy of playing some brinksmanship, taking some risks, being bold, doing the American thing, doing the free world thing, and the contest was this. And Jean Kirkpatrick said it as she stepped down as ambassador to the United Nations, I think the year was 1984. Ironic that it would be, actually. But I remember her saying, and I read this in an article in the newspaper about page 3 or 4 in a tiny little three column inches; she said, what is going on as she resigned her ambassadorship to the United Nations: What is going on here in the conflict in the world, the Cold War, is the equivalent of playing chess and Monopoly on the same board. And the question was, would the United States of America bankrupt the Soviet Union economically before the Soviet Union checkmated the United States militarily?

Mr. Speaker, that was the contest that was going on. Ronald Reagan understood that. Margaret Thatcher understood that, and I think Pope John Paul the Great understood that and upped the ante and took the risk and did the bold thing and challenged. When he challenged, it added inspiration to a people. When they found that the emperor had no clothes, that the bear had no teeth, the bear had no claws, and they found that the will was not there any longer on the part of the Soviet Union to exterminate people who were just trying to get over the wall for their freedom, then they defied authority, and almost bloodlessly the wall came down. The Iron Curtain came crashing down and freedom echoed all of the way across Europe clear to the Pacific Ocean.

Hundreds of millions of people breathed free because of that courage and that boldness and that nobility of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul.

That kind of bold move is what it takes for people to achieve freedom. It was a bold move to draft and sign the Declaration of Independence and hang that out in the public square and understand that as they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, they well might be hanging in the public square as well, our Founders, that signed the Declaration.

They took that risk, and many of their lives were ruined. But the birth of this country began and freedom was inspired. A bold and noble act brought forth the United States of America. A bold and noble act brought down the Berlin Wall, crashed the Iron Curtain, and a bold and noble act freed the Iraqi and the Afghani people.

Mr. Speaker, taking myself back to those moments in history, the noble times when people have been bold and had the courage to take a risk and know that bad things could come out of a bold decision, but seldom do any better things come out of decisions that are not so bold. I could go through history and talk about the Declaration of Independence, as I stated. And additionally, Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the boldness with which he stuck to his guns and said we will preserve the Union, and almost at any cost, and it was a high price that was paid.

"As I would not be a slave, I would not be a master,'' and he acted on it.

My information from an accomplished historian is a story that I have to qualify because even though I am assured it is a true story, it is such a good story. Many things are attributed to Abraham Lincoln, so I am a little cautious. It is inspirational regardless of whether we can verify it to be fact. I have done some steps to verify. I believe it to be a fact, but I am not certain.

So I put that caveat in there, but I think it is important to consider this inspiration.

As Abraham Lincoln was considering whether to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, he had deliberated on it for some time. The political climate was different then than we imagine it might be. And he called his cabinet together. He spoke to the cabinet.

He said I have this Emancipation Proclamation, and I am seeking your counsel as to whether I should sign it. So he went around the table. They were all men in those days. And the first cabinet member, the first man said Mr. President, I don't think you should sign the Emancipation Proclamation because, after all you can't free anybody south of the Mason-Dixon Line because we don't occupy any of that territory and we have no authority since they have seceded from the Union, so it would be meaningless. President Lincoln listened.

Then he went to the next cabinet member. The next cabinet member said, Mr. President, I think it is meaningless because you can't free anybody by signing the Emancipation Proclamation. And furthermore, the African Americans who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line are already free. So it would be meaningless.

So he went to the third cabinet member who said, We have some people wearing our Union uniform that are fighting against the Confederates for other reasons. They want to bring the Union together, but they believe in slavery, and so you will lose some of the support of those soldiers who really aren't against slavery. They are there because they want to hold the Union together.

They went around the table. The cabinet was smaller then, but there was a different reason from each cabinet member. But each one advised President Lincoln, no, no, no, no, all of the way around the cabinet table. Every cabinet member advised President Lincoln do not sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

And the leadership of courage, the nobility of the man, President Lincoln looked at his cabinet members and he said, ``Well, gentlemen, the aye has it.''

"The aye has it,'' Mr. Speaker. That is courage. That is vision. That is nobility. That's the thing that we see out of our soldiers in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. And it is not getting easier in Afghanistan. The casualties are going up there. We do have support from a lot of our allies in Afghanistan, and we have significant support in Iraq from our allies there.

But we must not fold, we must not blink, we must not fail. We should listen to our uniformed military who are putting up the sacrifice. If I hear over here again, ``I am tired of this war,'' find me a volunteer soldier that is not tired of war. But the numbers of those who support finishing this thing with the honor of a victory, and those who anticipate, as I do, an Iraq that is free, a moderate, Arabic nation that will be an ally that has significant oil resources in the Middle East, one who will be inspiring to the rest of that part of the world, that part of the world that has been in constant conflict and turmoil for centuries, we need to work with this principle that free people don't go to war against other free people.

If we have free people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we do, that happens to be on the west and the east border of Iran, respectively. As they see the prosperity and the peacefulness and the opportunity and the freedom that exists today and will be an expanding freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, can anybody imagine that the Iranian people will not want to partake in that freedom and prosperity? They will be inspired by their neighbors.

We can see that part of the globe bond together, free people, moderate Islamic nations who control their own government, people with a voice in the destiny of their nation. That is what I envision and what President Bush envisions. That is what we need to have the courage and the nobility to stand with. In the long run, first it saves American lives in the long run. Second, it changes the habitat that breeds terror.

If you look around the world, we have a list of countries that are called nations of interest. The nations of interest are the nations that produce terrorists. The reason they do is because they have the habitat that produces terrorists. Some is poverty, some is religion, some is culture. There is a hatred of freedom there and there is a love of death, as we heard the gentleman from California in his presentation earlier this afternoon.

That habitat can be changed. And we have lost Benazir Bhutto to this world, to this temporal world that we are in at this time. I got to know her and I had a number of conversations with her. Upon our first meeting, it was shortly after September 11, and I sat down with her one-on-one in Storm Lake, Iowa, I would add. And I asked her a series of questions.

One of my questions was, How do we get to the point where we can achieve victory in this war since this is an amorphous enemy and it is not a command-and-control structure and there is not a piece of real estate that we can go and capture and occupy and say we won? How do we win and declare victory? How do we know when we have won?

Her answer was you've got to give them freedom. You've got to give them a chance at democracy. If you do that, they will change their focus from hatred and terror toward their families, their communities, their neighborhoods, their country, and their mosques. If they do that, they will no longer be focused on hatred and I will pick it up from there. That is how we erase the habitat that breeds terrorists.

Another way to describe it, Mr. Speaker, is if you're sitting on your porch and a hornet should fly along and sting you on the arm, you are likely to swat the hornet and rub the arm a little bit. If it happens 2 weeks later, that is two too many, but it is not so alarming. But if the whole hive comes and stings one of your children or grandchildren to death, maybe 200 or 300 stings by 200 or 300 hornets, and for an unforeseen reason kills one of your family members, you no longer sit on the porch with your Raid can and your fly swatter. You go find the hive or hives, and you eradicate the habitat that breeds that kind of venom.

We are going another step here. We are eradicating the habitat that breeds that kind of venom, and we are replacing it with a positive habitat that breeds brotherly love and neighborly cooperation and common interest of commercial opportunity and an opportunity to weigh in to promote the destiny of their country.

All of those things come from the kind of mission that our military has been on, the kind of mission that Sean O'Brien has been on, and these things can and will flow from our efforts should we have the courage and the nobility to stand.

As I listened to my predecessor speakers, I am going to say illogical language about energy keeps coming forth from the microphones over on that side.

I would challenge them, and I would yield to anybody that comes up with a single thing that the Pelosi Congress has offered that put more energy on the market, anything that puts more Btus in the marketplace, that puts more gas into the market, more diesel fuel, more ethanol, more biodiesel, more wind or coal or nuclear or solar? Any single thing that has been proposed by the other side of the aisle that has put more energy into the marketplace?

I will yield if you can come up with an example. But I am going to say that answer is zilch. Not one, nada, no Btus more on the market. Every single move in these 15, going on 16 months of the 110th Congress, every single move by the Speaker's leadership has been to take energy off the market, make it more scarce.

I don't understand how the constituents for the people who advocate such a thing can tolerate suspending the law of supply and demand, making energy more scarce, driving the prices up. Gas prices are up 50 percent since Nancy Pelosi took the gavel; 50 percent.

We are paying $3.51 a gallon for gasoline today. Crude oil prices dropped a little today. They were almost $120 a barrel. They dropped about $6. That is about 5 percent. That is a good thing.

But to listen to the other side, Mr. Speaker, they ask us to believe the idea that somehow George Bush controls global oil prices, as if $120 a barrel for crude oil is something that only Americans are paying, but Europeans are not and Australians are not and Africans and South Americans are not.

The truth is this is a global market. If you really want to protect yourself from rising oil prices, you can hedge that on the futures market. Go buy yourself some barrels of oil. If you think oil is going up to $200 or $300 or $400 a barrel, buy some now. Invest in that now.

Invest that in the futures. You can protect your interest on that. But this is a global price. George Bush can't control the oil prices. Here's a news flash. A President of the United States can't do that. He can affect them, yes. This Congress can affect them too. But it has to do with how you affect the supply and what you do with the tax and the regulatory structure.

We need more refineries. We need to drill ANWR. We need to drill the Outer Continental Shelf. We need to drill the non national park public lands in America, and we need to build roads in distribution areas so that we can do that, so that we can deliver that oil to the marketplace.

And if we look around at what technology is doing, when oil prices went up, what happened?

Well, we know there's a huge oil supply in Northern Alberta in the tar sands, and we're working with the Canadians, and I hope the deal doesn't get destroyed by initiatives here that are anti-energy in this Congress, Mr. Speaker.

But we need to bring that pipeline down from Northern Alberta, and we bring that down into the heart of the United States and refine that crude oil of the Canadians and that huge supply that's there, and we need to tap into ANWR, and move to the east from where the north slope is, similar terrain and topography, and bring that oil into the domestic market of the United States; more importantly, get it on to the world market so we can cut down on, increase the supply so we can reduce the cost of the energy that we have.

If you saw that there was a report by USGS that they had identified an oil reserves in North Dakota, some spilling over into Montana; hopefully Mr. Pomeroy knows about this. I'm sure he does. 3.4 billion barrels of oil up there. And they have to go down nearly 2 miles and do horizontal sand fractionalization to make that happen. But that's a tremendous amount of oil that's domestic, two big oil finds.

We also have the Chevron find down on the Gulf Coast within the last two years, a huge oil find. And the Brazilians have tapped into an oil find, a couple of different ones that look like they could rank in the top three of the oil reserves for the world. And we know that the west coast of Africa has a tremendous amount of oil.

So let's get this going. Let's put a lot of oil on the market, a lot of energy on the market.

And, Mr. Speaker, I'd direct the body's attention to what really does control the cost of energy. This is a little chart that we made up that, it is a pie chart. And this represents, this pie chart is 360 degrees. It is the whole of the energy that, as energy consumed in the United States, last year in 2007. This is in Btus. So in case you'll know what this number is, Mr. Speaker, being an astute individual.

We consumed 101.5 quadrillion Btus last year in the United States of America. Of those 101.5 quadrillion Btus, it breaks out this way as a percentage: 23 percent natural gas, petroleum, gas, 39.24 percent, and you go on up the line. We've got coal at 22.4 percent, nuclear at 8.29. That's got to be a diminishing number because we haven't built a nuclear plant in the United States since about 1975 or maybe 1978. There happens to be one going in now in South Carolina. I am glad to see that.

Let's expand the nuclear. It's very clean and very safe. It's the safest electrical supply that we have in the United States.

The hydroelectric has not been expanding, either, and I'm all for expanding that. That sits at 2.3. Geothermal, small little piece there, wind, small little piece, solar, very small piece. Fuel ethanol, not as big as someone might think. .94 of 1 percent of the energy we consume in the United States is ethanol. And the biodiesel is .06 percent, not very big.

And then wood and waste is bigger. I think that's going to be your biomass, remainder of the biomass component of this.

The thing we need to do for energy in the United States is expand every one of these slices of the energy pie; put more Btus out in each one of these colored pie categories that we have; make this circle a lot bigger so that the number of Btus that we produce is great enough that it puts pressure and downward pressure on the market prices. That's our mission. That's an energy policy.

And by the way, another slice of that pie needs to be conservation. That's not in there. We need to add conservation to that as well, Mr. Speaker.

So as we move forward in this policy, let's keep in mind you can't suspend the law of supply and demand. We can't be living in ``Pah-la-la-losi Land.'' We've got to understand that what goes up must come down. That's the law of gravity.

The sun comes up in the east, not the west. It doesn't come up in San Francisco, it comes up over on the Atlantic ocean side of this. That's not going to change, and no amount of talking about it will change where the sun comes up. And no amount of talking is going to change the law of supply and demand, except taxes and regulation, which are going up on our energy producers, not down.

So I'll argue, Mr. Speaker, we need to supply more energy, not less. The idea that more expensive energy is a good thing for Mother Nature, that somehow, if you raise the price of gas to $3.51 or $4.50 or six bucks or seven bucks, that somebody's going to get on a bicycle and ride around town instead of driving around in their car, that may work in some occasions, but it doesn't work out very good for Grandma that's got to go 10 miles to town in January in Iowa. She can't put the chains on her bicycle and do that. She'll get in her car and she'll drive, and she'll pay a higher price out of her Social Security and her fixed limited income because you're driving up the price of gas; you're not driving it down. And it's limiting the quality of life, and people are having to make tough decisions.

We need to take action to put more energy on the market, not less. And if we do that, we can see these prices go down, not up.

And I'd add to that that the value of the dollar is a significant factor in this. The depreciation of the dollar, the dollar value needs to be shored up. A significant part of the cost of energy is because it takes more dollars to compete with the higher value currency in foreign countries, Mr. Speaker.

And so that is a summary of some of the things I came to the floor here to address. I want to thank you for recognizing me and the privilege of speaking here on the floor of the House of Representatives.

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