SOTU Watch: Time for President to Embrace Energy Boom and Its Jobs

January 28, 2014

Upton: “To fulfill our energy potential, create jobs, and keep prices affordable, we must all work together in constructing the architecture of abundance.”

If recent history is a guide, expect to hear President Obama try to take credit for America’s booming energy production during tonight’s State of the Union address. In a recent Weekly Address, the president remarked that “After years of talk about reducing our dependence on foreign oil, we are actually poised to control our own energy future,” and he noted at his last press conference of 2013, “For the first time in nearly two decades, we now produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world, and our all-of-the-above strategy for new American energy means lower energy costs.” But the president’s rhetoric does not match reality as America’s energy boom is taking place in spite of the president’s policies, not because of them.

The Energy and Commerce Committee released a report last year from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service documenting that all of the increases in domestic oil production since 2007 have taken place on non-federal lands, where the federal government plays little to no role. The same report also reveals natural gas production fell by 33 percent on federal lands while production on state and private lands increased by 40 percent.

The administration has pursued an “all-of-the-above but nothing-from-below” energy strategy, restricting energy development on federal lands, delaying drilling permits, and continuing to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Even worse, the administration’s greenhouse gas regulations threaten to take coal, one of our nation’s most reliable and affordable energy sources, completely out of America’s energy mix. On the other hand, House Republicans have taken bipartisan action to increase access to affordable energy, remove regulatory burdens, modernize permitting processes, and build the architecture of abundance necessary to unleash the benefits of the nation’s newfound energy resources.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) stated, "America's energy boom and advancement toward energy self-sufficiency has boosted our standing in the world. Our game changing energy abundance is a proud result of what makes our nation great – American ingenuity. But the private sector's innovation and breakthrough technologies occurred in spite of the administration’s policies, not because of them. To fulfill our energy potential, create jobs, and keep prices affordable, we must all work together in constructing the architecture of abundance. We have introduced a number of bipartisan bills to encourage the development and deployment of energies from a true all-of-the-above portfolio. The president has an opportunity to join our bipartisan effort if he is finally ready to embrace, rather than attack, our rich, all-of-the-above resources.” 

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