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Public Statements

House Energy Action Team

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. Thank you for that. I couldn't agree more. You know what we're talking about here is jobs, job creation. And the best way to do that is to explore for energy here, to develop our energy resources. And that's why I am pleased to be a part of this Congress.

When I hear from folks back home, they say, ``Jamie, we sent you to D.C. for solutions.'' And that's precisely what this Congress has been about. With the gentleman you are going to hear from and others, I helped launch the House Energy Action Team, or HEAT is what we like to call it. It's an initiative with my House colleagues that we've started to bring forward energy solutions that put forward jobs for Americans. And I am a solutions-oriented person.

Solutions are definitely what America needs right now. And I see this from the vantage point of my corner of this country in southwest Washington State. Here is a good example. Just a few weeks ago, I met with John Leber. He is the owner of Swanson Bark in Longview. And basically, his business moves material for the forest products industry, including biomass for energy producers.

Now, the first problem we have encountered, and he has seen here with regard to some of these regulations, is we have very strict boiler MACT rules that are on hold. But if they are implemented, they would cost the forest products industry alone $5 billion to $7 billion to implement. And that's not hiring new people, that's not expanding their business, that's just costs of complying with Federal Government rules.

And there is more. The second problem is thousands of manufacturing and industrial facilities across this country use incinerators that would be affected, meaning they are going to have to spend more money, not to hire more people or to grow their business, but to comply with Federal Government rules.

Now, instead of stepping on the air hose of employers like John Leber, I cosponsored legislation and a solution that would allow the EPA to make the Boiler MACT rule more reasonable. Makes common sense; right? In turn, this would help the promising industry of biomass and the jobs that would come with it.

Now, the gentleman from South Carolina very rightly pointed out the energy exploration solutions that we passed here off this House floor. This is just one solution that I think is going to help, and I want to add it to those four. We are working on that. HEAT members here tonight are joining together to call on the Senate.

We have passed at least four bills that provide American energy solutions that will promote American energy jobs. The Senate needs to step up. I am going to share for you and reiterate some of those bills that we passed because they are very important. This is important to America's energy security and America's energy independence.

The first one is the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011. This would have simply required the EPA to speed up its approvals for energy exploration in Alaska. That's it. Speed up your approvals. That's pretty simple.

Developing and safely exploring for energy here would have produced a million barrels of oil per day, and it would create more than 54,000 American energy jobs. Now, not all of us like the gentleman from North Dakota have such low unemployment rates. I think it was quoted as about 3 percent. I would be doing backflips for 3 percent unemployment.

In southwest Washington, we have had double-digit unemployment now for 3 years, 3-plus years, and it's horrible. So we need to get these things moving here in America and create those jobs, especially when it's within our reach to do.

And one of the other solutions that we worked on as a team was reversing President Obama's offshore moratorium. This would contribute over 1.2 million new jobs for Americans who are hurting across this country; 800 million in revenue would have come in if the Senate would move this bill.

Now, as we are talking about the deficit and deficit reductions and the debt ceiling--and I agree with what one of the Senators said. We don't need new taxes; we need new taxpayers. So getting more people to work, paying taxes is going to help us get out of the debt that this country is facing, and it's going to create more jobs.

The third bill that we worked on and passed off of this House, one of the solutions that we have already pushed through this Chamber, is the Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, and that bill simply reinforces safety measures through permitting inspections while increasing American energy.

I hope you are sensing a theme here tonight: American energy solutions and American jobs.

And the fourth one that we were pleased to get off this floor a few months ago was the Restarting the American Offshore Leasing Now Act. Now, this moves us forward with lease sales that were cancelled or postponed by this administration.

Remember, I mentioned stepping on that air hose. Well, a lot of the rules that have come out this administration have stepped on the air hose for employers in our Nation, and it has got to stop. We need to increase America's energy supply. This would increase thousands of American jobs, and it's common sense. All of these commonsense solutions that increase American energy production make it cheaper for families to fill their car with gas, to heat their homes, and it would give relief to American employers.

I am merely asking, and my colleagues here tonight, we are merely asking the Senate to imagine a future in the United States where energy is abundant and affordable and where we aren't riding the roller coaster of high gas prices that. Basically, those prices are set by other nations that don't like us very much.

So I encourage our Senate colleagues to join us in passing and pursuing more solutions like these that the people of this country deserve.


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