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Public Statements

The Western Caucus

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Mr. Pearce. I appreciate your yielding me some time. Let me go forward with what Mr. Thompson was just saying and what you were just commenting on about prosperity.

Just today, I had a businessman in my office relaying to me a conversation he had with one of the liberal Democrat Senators, and he was talking about the issues that concerned him and his business. She was arguing over and over again about how government needs to do all the regulatory constraints on business and how businesses need to be taxed higher, and it's not fair for businesses to be making money at the levels that they are. In fact, just today, we saw some of our Democratic colleagues talk about the oil companies and the kind of money that they have been making with increased prices of gasoline. Finally, in frustration, this Democrat Senator said to this businessman: All you're concerned about is profit. You just want to make a profit.

Well, that's what business does. It makes a profit for its shareholders. If it's a corporation, it makes a profit for small businesses.

The policies of this administration, the policies that we've seen from our Democratic colleagues when Nancy Pelosi was running the House, now with Harry Reid running the Senate, and certainly the Obama administration, they're trying to destroy profits. They're trying to destroy our economy, in my opinion.

In fact, the President, himself, has said that he doesn't mind seeing gasoline prices go up as long as they go up incrementally. He doesn't want to see the massive increases, but as long as they keep going up. His own Energy Secretary, Dr. Chu, fairly recently said somehow we have to find a way to make gasoline in the United States at the same price that it is in Europe, which is roughly $8 a gallon today. The policies of this administration are doing just exactly that.

Today, in the Science, Space and Technology Committee, we were talking about fracking. The EPA scientist that is studying fracking admitted that there has not been one single incident--not one--where fracking has been implicated in contaminating drinking water. Not one.

But I believe this administration is doing everything it can to try to destroy energy production in this country and to try to destroy the free enterprise system. In fact, the President, himself, said that if his policies go into effect, to use his own words, energy prices will ``necessarily skyrocket.''

Well, who's going to be hurt? Who's going to be hurt when fuel prices go up and food prices go up, not only gasoline and diesel fuel?

I was talking to a manager in a restaurant just last week in Athens, Georgia, and was asking him about his food prices in his restaurant and what is going on because of the high cost of gasoline. He said his suppliers are adding a fuel surcharge onto the cost of the foods that he's buying and selling in his restaurant. And it's the policies of this administration that are doing that.

Just yesterday, I had a constituent of mine who's an egg producer in Georgia come in and talk about some of the issues that he faces. I am from Georgia. I'm a good southerner, and I love my grits and cornbread. For folks who are not southerners, grits are made from corn. Cornbread, obviously, that's self-explanatory where that comes from. I think even Yankees will know that cornbread comes from corn, too. The thing is that I, as a good southerner, cannot see driving down the road, burning up my grits and cornbread in the fuel tank of my GMC Yukon that I used as my office, actually, when I was making house calls as a medical doctor.

I hear our Democratic colleagues talk about we need to remove the subsidies for the oil companies. Well, the American people need to know that those subsidies are actually tax credits. They're not true subsidies as such. In fact, Harry Reid was recently wanting a subsidy for gold mining in his own State of Nevada. He also wanted us to continue funding the cowboy poetry festival in his home State.

We've got to stop spending these outrageous funds that the Federal Government has been spending, and we need to start creating jobs in a strong economy. The best way to do that is to get rid of the policies of this administration that are destroying jobs, destroying our economy, increasing the cost of gas and diesel fuel for farmers and everybody in this country.

But back to my egg producer friend. I've got a chart here that we made up in our office, a dozen eggs in Georgia. We have the subsidies--which are really not subsidies for the oil companies; they're just tax credits. But we have subsidies for ethanol production, which are true subsidies. Our administration has tried to pick winners and losers. One of the winners that they picked is the ethanol production.

That's been a total failure, and what that has done is increase the cost of gasoline. It's increased the cost of food across this country too. In fact, the major ingredient in feed for chickens is corn. Corn, when I when I was farming back a number of years ago, was $2.50 a bushel. Now it's approaching $8 a bushel. In 2005, before this ethanol subsidy, the total feed cost per dozen eggs--so when a consumer goes out and buys a dozen eggs--the food cost in that dozen eggs was 21 cents per dozen of eggs. Now, 2011, it's approximately 52 cents per dozen.

So who pays for that? Does the egg producer? No, it's the consumer. When
you go to the grocery store and buy a dozen eggs, you're paying more money for the failed policies of this administration, particularly when it has to do with energy.

If we start drilling for oil, tapping into our natural gas supplies, start producing coal, particularly doing the clean coal technology that we have, having an all-of-the-above energy policy, what's going to be the long-term outcome for the American consumer? For every single American, it's going to lower the cost of eggs and milk and bread because it's going to lower the cost of the production of all the foodstuffs. Every single good and service in this country is affected by these high costs of gasoline and fuel oil, diesel fuel, et cetera. The people who are going to be hurt the most are the poor people, those on limited incomes, our senior citizens.

I hear over and over again our Democrat colleagues say that Republicans are in the back pockets of Big Oil. Wrong. I would like to see us end all subsidies, all of them, but particularly the ethanol subsidy, which has not made any sense whatsoever. And let's start developing our own energy resources, which will create jobs here in America.

Just yesterday and today, we've been debating three bills that came out of our Natural Resources Committee. Those three bills will enable us to start tapping into the God-given energy resources that we have in this country, help us to be less dependent upon foreign sources for energy. If the President will ever sign those three bills into law, the short-term effect, I think it's been estimated, is that 200,000 new jobs are going to be created. So 200,000 new jobs will be created just with those three bills, just to be able to open up developing our own energy resources here in America that the President is blocking. Long term those three bills, it's estimated, will create 1.2 million new jobs here in the United States, American jobs, and help create a stronger economy.

The failed energy policies of this administration are hurting job creation. They are hurting our economy. They're raising the cost of gasoline. They're raising the cost of diesel fuel. They're raising the cost of fuel oil. They're going to hurt egg producers and thus egg consumers, consumers of all goods and services. Your food costs are going to go up. The cost of every good and service in this country is going to go up all because of the failed policies of this administration because we cannot develop our own energy resources, our God-given resources, that we have in this country. I submit if a nation is not energy independent, it's not a secure nation. And that's where we are today. We've got to become energy independent. And how is that going to happen?

Former U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen one time said when he feels the heat, he sees the light. The most powerful political force in America is embodied in the first three words of the U.S. Constitution: We the people. When we the people start contacting Members of Congress, particularly the Democrat Members of the House, and the Members of the U.S. Senate, and demand that we develop our own energy resources here in America, that we have an all-of-the-above energy policy that looks at everything--nuclear energy, alternative sources, clean coal, oil, gas--everything, which we must do, and that's what Republicans are fighting for, if enough people all over this country will contact their Senators and their Members of Congress and say, let's develop our own energy resources, let's develop American jobs, let's develop a strong economy here in America, then we can do so. But it's up to we the people to be able to demand that from your elected Representatives.

Thank you, Mr. Pearce, for yielding to me. I appreciate the great job you're doing as chairman of the Western Caucus, and I'm honored to be a part of that caucus.

Before I close, I encourage people to go on my Web site,, and they can actually look at all the things on this chart. They can look at it in fine detail and understand how high energy costs are creating high prices for eggs in the grocery store.

Thank you, Mr. Pearce.


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