Upton Responds to State of the Union Address

January 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement this evening following President Obama's State of the Union address:

"President Obama talked of a future where we're in control of our own energy, but time and again, he has blocked our ability to develop our vast energy resources and partner with North American allies to lessen our dependence on hostile regions of the world. The President said we need an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy, but his government's policies are keeping supplies locked away and squeezing our power sector, making energy less reliable and less affordable for working families and businesses struggling to grow. He said a lot about energy at a time when the American people recognize the jobs and security that come with energy development, but he stayed silent on two of the most significant energy issues facing our nation today: the Keystone XL pipeline he rejected and the failed government gamble on Solyndra. The silence speaks volumes about contrasting policy visions.

"Less than 60 days after taking office, President Obama's administration gave conditional approval to a $535 million taxpayer-backed loan guarantee to Solyndra over the objections of his own administration experts. Just over two years later, the company declared bankruptcy and more than 1,000 Americans lost their jobs. Compare that to a shovel-ready project to link energy supplies from our neighbor and ally to the north with refineries here at home. More than three years after receiving the permit application for the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project that won't cost taxpayers a dime - the same project that his State Department called the "˜preferred' option - the President still cannot find a way to say yes to tens of thousands of jobs and energy security.

"The President said we have an incomplete high-speed broadband network, but his Federal Communications Commission is protecting its turf instead of joining us to free up airwaves to build the next generation communications networks. And while he acknowledged that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly, the reality is that the vast federal bureaucracy continues to churn out some of the most expensive rules in history, putting jobs at risk and driving up prices for middle class families.

"President Obama talked of an America that's built to last. He outlined an aspirational vision, and at a time when so many millions of Americans remain out of work, there is no doubt that positive, pro-job solutions are what our country hungers for. But the policies we've seen over the last three years fall far short of our nation's potential.

"President Obama's Jobs Council offered serious policy principles to help ease economic uncertainty and spur job creation, and Republicans have voted over and over again to put those principles into action. That's the path to an America built to last. We'll keep on working this year to deliver solutions for middle class families and job creators. We'll keep on working to implement an all-of-the-above energy strategy that promotes job creation and secure, affordable energy supplies. And we'll keep on fighting to protect taxpayers and reduce the size and scope of government, because as long as Washington is allowed to spend money we do not have, our economy and future generations will pay the price. The state of our union depends on these kinds of solutions, and we're committed to deliver."