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Location: Washington, DC

ENERGY -- (House of Representatives - July 29, 2008)


Mr. CARTER. I thank my friend from Iowa, my classmate from Iowa. We came in this Congress together and have been close friends since we have gotten here. The one thing that I have learned about people from Iowa, like Steve King, is that they are blessed, like a whole lot of my folks back home, hopefully I am too, with something called common sense. You know, this is really about common sense, and I think the American people get it.

Tomorrow morning, in Round Rock, Texas, where I am from, that used to be a little bitty town of 2,500 people, and now we are bumping up against 100,000 people, but I estimate we have got at least 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles that are operated out of Round Rock, Texas.

So, tomorrow morning, in just my hometown, 15,000 people are going to get out of bed and go out and start up a vehicle to go to work, and it's summer, they may be wanting to take the kids on vacation, maybe taking them to swimming practice or to baseball practice or down to the park to play, or they are going to grocery shopping, as the price of groceries go up, or they are going out to work, or they are driving down to Austin, 30 miles away, to their job. But they are all mobile and going some place.

There's no mass transit that comes to my town of 100,000 people. There's a Greyhound bus that passes through, going places. But I wouldn't call that mass transit. It won't get you back and forth to work. And all those peoples are going to start their vehicles tomorrow morning, either on gasoline or diesel. We may have a couple of hybrids. But the power that is going to recharge the batteries of that hybrid vehicle is going to come from a source of some sort. Hydroelectric used to be a big source, but it's one of the minute sources now. We got scared to death of nuclear energy and so we stopped making nuclear power plants. So we burn coal and we burn natural gas and hydrocarbons to make electrical energy most everywhere in this country.

Now, sure, I like what I heard from my friend, T. Boone Pickens, from the panhandle of Texas, where the wind blows all the time. Wind mills are a great idea in the panhandle of Texas, and they are going to help a small amount. I am all for it. I, of course, am a big fan of natural gas because my daddy was in the natural gas business. I grew up in the natural gas business, and every summer job I had from the time I was 16-years-old was in the natural gas business. Which brings me down to something that I discovered.

Most of the people here in Congress know that I am married to a little lady who's from the Netherlands. I worked on a pipeline in the Netherlands back in 1965. That is how I met my wife. That pipeline was being laid because the Dutch discovered in the northern province of Holland--and Holland is a little country. It's not very big at all.

I think it's 190 miles long by 90 miles wide.

They discovered natural gas. In fact, one well in north Holland produced the same amount of natural gas as the entire west Texas gas field in the panhandle. Now they were elated. They were overwhelmed. Europe was fascinated. They had found a resource to power their homes, because they were still burning coal, they were still burning coal that was made into liquid. They were still burning coal oil in their homes in northern Europe in 1965. And they were excited about this great resource that they found.

And then they moved offshore; off the shore of Norway, off the shore of Scotland, off the shore of Sweden, and out into the North Sea, out into the Baltic Sea, and they drilled and they found more oil and natural gas. And Europe was excited. Yet, we are ashamed of our natural resource that we know is sitting off the coast of the United States. Oh, woe is me. We can't touch that. That is not good for us.

Now what is wrong with us? Because tomorrow morning in Round Rock, Texas, 15,000 people want to run their vehicles to live their lives as Americans. And, you're right, these folks, the intercity folks, they have got mass transit. Some of it's good, some not so good. But they have got it. Maybe that is what is part of the divide that divides the red States from the blue States in the old comparison that we get right now. Maybe us red State folks don't have as much transit as the blue State folks. I don't know about that.

But I know this. The Republican Party stands for the right idea. Let's develop every power source known to man to make this an American independent power country. American power for Americans.

You have got a chart right there. You have got a great list. I will be glad to yield back for you to go over that list of the power sources that we say are available and how we support each and every one of those power sources. I yield back.


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