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The President Needs to Get with the Program

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, last week President Obama was in an oilfield in New Mexico, and the President said:

Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last 8 years. That's a fact. That is a fact.

He went on to say:

You have my word that we will keep drilling everywhere we can, and we'll do it while protecting the health and safety of the American people.

And he said:

A recent independent analysis showed that over the last 36 years, there's been no connection between the amount of oil that we drill in this country and the price of gasoline.

``There's no connection,'' he went on to say. And then the President added:

Even if we drilled every square inch of this country, we'd still only have 2, 3, or 4 percent of the world's known oil reserves.

That's just not true. It's just simply not true. Today, on television, the former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, said--and he ought to know, he was in the oil business. He says that there is a trillion--a trillion, get that; not a billion, but a trillion-plus barrels of oil in America, more oil than there is in Saudi Arabia, and it's not counted by the President, and he's misleading the American people.

The reason he said that is because when the President talked about the increase in oil production, he was talking about the increase in oil production on private land outside the Federal Government's grip.

When you talk about the Federal lands, where we know there's tons of oil, oil production fell by 11 percent last year. It went down. So we're not drilling for that oil. We're not drilling off the Continental Shelf. We're not drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. We're not drilling in Alaska and the ANWR. We're not using coal oil shale for oil.

And so we could have another trillion barrels of oil, much more than we'll ever need, more than in Saudi Arabia, if we just did what the President says that we're already doing. But we're not doing it.

I'm going to be down here on the floor next week, and I'm going to show that the applications for permits to drill in this country have gone down, gone down by 36 percent since President Obama took office in 2008. So he says we're drilling everywhere. The permits that have been requested by the oil companies and those who will produce gasoline in this country have gone down by 36 percent since the President took office.

Now, let me just end up by saying this: the price of gasoline, from 2000 to 2009, was an average of $2.09 a gallon. The average retail price of gasoline when President Obama took office was $1.85 a gallon. And the average price of gasoline today is $3.88 a gallon, and everybody in America knows that. That's an increase of 86 percent.

So when the President goes on these trips around the country to make statements to the American people about the great things they're doing for energy production in this country, he should get his facts correct. Either he's misleading us intentionally or somebody's giving him the wrong information. But we have an abundance of energy in this country that's not being tapped.

I have no problem with us looking at alternative energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, all those things, nuclear, but those things are going to take a long time, and we're still going to have to depend on oil and fossil fuels for many years to come. And the President needs to tell the truth and get with the program.

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