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Motion to Instruct Conferees on S. 2062, Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I would like to refer people to the photograph that was just on display when the gentleman from Oregon was speaking. It showed the President of the United States hand in hand with King Abdullah as they were about to go into a meeting to discuss oil. And the President of the United States had a mission, and it was to ask the leader of another country, not particularly a friendly country to us, to solve our problem by increasing production of oil in Saudi Arabia in order to get us out of the jamb we are in here in America.

The question that we face in this country is whether or not we are going to address in the manner of a confident country, of an ingenious country, of a country willing to take on its own problems, the challenge of changing our energy future.

The President's approach, as was described by Mr. DeFazio from Oregon, is to drill yesterday, to drill today, to drill tomorrow, and to drill forever. And the news is in. Oil is not in infinite supply. And if we need any better authority about the limitations of oil, think about Mr. T. Boone Pickens who made a very successful career as a Texas oilman, and he points out the obvious: if you have 87 million barrels of oil consumed today, you have production at 86 million, the proven reserves are limited, the capacity to actually get more out of the ground is somewhat limited, it can be expanded but not at infinite levels, it is time to begin yesterday to plan an alternative energy strategy.

Mr. Speaker, a self-confident country does not put its head in the sand and ignore the problems that it faces; it challenges them. It accepts the burden of responsibility. It has the confidence that we have the people, the talent, and the political will to make that transition to an alternative energy economy.

The American people have that figured out. They know if we are going to create jobs and strengthen our economy, we have to know that green jobs are good jobs and that taking on the challenge of filling up the gas tank in a way that uses alternative energy and creates jobs is the pathway to the future.

So this debate is really a fork in the road. It is between two very clear choices. The oilmen in the White House, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, believe that the fuel of the future is oil. They think that we can drill our way out of the situation we are in. Americans, I believe, have come to the conclusion that is wrong and will fail and that the pathway to the future is alternative energy.


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