OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:
GOP Address: Alaska Governor Talks Energy, Keystone Pipeline
Source: ABC News Radio, 6-1-13
Hello, I’m Sean Parnell, governor of the great state of Alaska.
If you’ve spent much time watching the dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, D.C., you may have lost faith.
And yet, across the country, Republican governors have another story: We are balancing budgets, reducing regulations, cutting taxes, and growing our economies, all the while working across the aisle.
Chief Executive Magazine recently released its annual survey of the best states for business. The result? The top ten are all managed by Republican governors.
You see, when states encourage and grow economic opportunity, despite the federal quagmire of damaging regulations, our entire nation benefits.
Today I want to focus on energy. I want to focus on what local, state and federal governments can do to ensure safe, reliable and affordable access to it.
First, we need to address some basic, but critical questions:
Is it better for the U.S. to import energy—or to export it?
Is it a good public policy for Americans to be employed to produce our energy—or simply consume it?
Can and should America be energy independent?
Most Americans agree that energy independence is good for America, for both national security and our balance of trade. But we need our President to allow our nation to grow the energy economy for the benefit of our families. The Republican House has acted; it’s time for the Democratic controlled Senate to do the same.
Let me give you some examples.
Alaska—one of the world’s great hydrocarbon basins—we’re doing our part to secure America’s energy future.
In our most recent 90-day legislative session, the most productive in a generation, Alaskans worked together across party lines to make Alaska more competitive in a global environment. We reformed our state oil taxes, we modernized our state’s permitting system—all with the goal of creating more opportunities for our people from Alaska’s vast resources.
In our state, the Alaska Energy Comeback has begun, a comeback that will lead to a brighter economic future for the entire U.S. economy, but we didn’t just stop with state lands. We know our nation’s federal lands contain riches that should be unlocked for the benefit of all Americans.
Too often, however, the federal government is less than nimble about permitting projects on its own lands. Permitting delays by the Obama administration means delayed job creation for Americans.
So just last week I offered our state’s expertise and our financial commitment to evaluate the energy and economic potential from oil-rich federal lands.
Alaska is offering to pay a part of exploration of federal lands in Alaska for energy potential. Now, Alaska developed a comprehensive Oil and Gas Exploration Proposal for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, otherwise known as ANWR. It details a seven-year exploration plan to complete studies and exploration on this federal land.
And for this effort, I’m prepared to seek up to $50 million from the Alaska Legislature to help the federal government pay for developing this valuable information from its own land.
Now, we’ve had this ANWR debate—but the federal government does not have current data on its true energy potential. What we propose is a fact-finding mission on federal lands with the State of Alaska covering up to one-third of the cost, so Americans have the facts on ANWR, and can understand what’s at stake for the country.
This is just one example of how Republican governors are trailblazing the path to the future. The President and his allies in Congress have many such examples to emulate.
Recently the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, along with 19 Democrats, passed legislation to approve the Keystone Pipeline, which will create up to 20,000 domestic jobs and transport oil and gas from Canada to the southern U.S. for refining. Now, it’s time for the Democratic-led U.S. Senate to pass this bill—or at least allow it an up or down vote.
This common sense energy infrastructure project is truly shovel-ready, and yet the White House threatened it with a veto. The project could already be well underway, but the State Department has unnecessarily delayed the project for years.
And then there’s offshore energy—and there’s a lot of it out there. Coastal governors have gathered together as a coalition to unite behind responsibly unlocking offshore energy development. Each of the eight governors in our coastal states coalition is frustrated by the lack of coordination, by the endless delays and politically motivated inaction by federal agencies.
While the federal government wastes precious taxpayer dollars on green energy boondoggles that have collapsed in failure and bankruptcy, many with no benefit to America, access to federal lands has been consistently blocked by this administration. Offshore drilling has been stalled. Permitting for energy that can restore jobs across America is delayed. That’s not the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy that the President promised.
You may have heard that, under the Obama administration, energy production is up. Well, it’s important to note this is only because it is increasing on private lands, while production on federal lands, which belong to you, the taxpayer, has dropped dramatically.
Alaska and many of the other energy states are focused on responsible and safe oil and gas development.
And as with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, the opportunity is there: If Washington, D.C. would start working with states to unlock access to federal lands, an economic boom would be felt across this nation, lifting wages, and creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and improving our national security through energy independence.
Alaska and many of America’s governors are leading our country’s energy revolution. America’s resources belong to Americans. They should be unlocked for our benefit and not locked up by Washington.
Thanks for listening, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.