Executive Sessionby Senator John Barrasso
Posted on 2013-02-14
BARRASSO. Madam President, if I may join in this discussion--and
it is wonderful to see the bipartisan nature of this discussion, to
turn and look around the floor of this Chamber and see three Democratic
Senators talking to this issue and three Republican Senators talking to
the same issue and agreeing, because all of us are like-minded in the
fact that when we think of energy--and the Keystone XL Pipeline is a
big part of that--we think of energy security for our Nation, which is
part of this, economic growth, and environmental stewardship. We just
heard from one Alaskan Senator and the other Alaskan Senator will speak
We hear what a wonderful job people continue to do in one of the most pristine areas of the country, the State of Alaska. I will tell my colleagues, as a Senator from Wyoming, an energy capital of this Nation, that energy is a big part of our economy but so is tourism. If we did things that did not focus on environmental stewardship for our own State, it would impact our tourism. Energy is a big part of the economy, so we want to have economic growth, energy security, as well as environmental stewardship.
But I will tell my colleagues it has been a difficult task based on some of the regulatory obstacles to energy development. The President likes to talk about how he supports all-of-the-above American energy development. But, in fact, we heard him the other night during the State of the Union Address. His actions over the past 4 years tell a completely different story. Instead of making it easier for our own country to produce energy, I believe he has made it harder.
If we look at the folks who are leaving his administration: The EPA's Director, Lisa Jackson, she said the EPA's role is, interestingly, ``to level the playing field against fossil fuels.'' Secretary Chu, who is leaving the administration, said he would ``boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.'' Secretary Salazar, who is leaving, continues to talk about the fact that the energy strategy, he says, showed good results, but they have restricted access to Federal offshore and onshore oil and gas resources through moratoriums, through blocking permits, through leasing plans. They have denied Americans billions in public revenue and thousands of jobs.
I stand here saying that the Keystone XL Pipeline is a perfect example of the Obama administration's pattern of delaying good projects by requiring excessive redtape.
So I come here with the Senator from North Dakota and the Senator from Alaska--and I thank the Senator from North Dakota for his leadership, for his determination, for his courage, and for his fortitude--in fighting to make sure we as a country continue to strive for American energy security. That is exactly what we are going to have with this proposal.
I call on the administration today--the President, as well as the new Secretary of State--to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, to allow that energy--which is either coming here to the United States or going to China or elsewhere--to approve it to come to the United States, to help our production, to help our consumers, to help our jobs in this country. Those are the things that are important as we try to focus on energy security for our Nation, economic growth for our Nation, as well as environmental stewardship.
So I thank the Senator from North Dakota for his leadership.
I see now the ranking member of the Energy Committee is here with us as well, who has done a masterful job with a visioned ``Energy 20/20.'' For people who have not seen it, I would say they are missing something--if they have not really read through it--from the Senator from Alaska because she has focused like a laser on these three E's of energy security, economic growth, and environmental stewardship.
So I thank both the Senator from North Dakota and the Senator from Alaska, the ranking member of the Energy Committee, for their leadership.