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Hot Air Alert: When Democrat Rhetoric and Reality Collide on Reducing Dependence on Foreign Oil, Creating New Jobs and Protecting our Environment


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 2009 - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified yesterday at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing about the Obama Administration’s three key principles regarding U.S. energy development:

“And what those key principles are, as President Obama has often said, is: first of all, reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil; second of all, creating millions of new energy jobs here in the United States of America; and third, safeguarding our children from the dangers of pollution. And those are three areas where it seems to me there could be significant agreement between Democrats and Republicans…”

Republicans agree that those are good principals for our country’s energy future. Ironically, it’s Democrats who have taken steps to move us farther away from reaching those goals by proposing a National Energy Tax and taking action to discourage American energy production.

Republicans have introduced the American Energy Act (H.R. 2846) to encourage development of renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear and biomass, while also producing more American-made oil and natural gas. In addition to creating green jobs, the Republican plan will also create new nuclear jobs, offshore drilling jobs and manufacturing jobs – all of which America desperately needs during a serious recession with 9.5% unemployment. This all-of-the-above approach is the best way to reduce carbon emissions, protect the environment and make the United States more energy independent.

In contrast, the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats have taken action that will increase our dependence on foreign oil, send American jobs overseas and do little to stop climate change:

June 26th House Democrats passed the 1,200 page Waxman-Markey National Energy Tax bill. This so-called “energy bill” contains no measures to expand production of nuclear power, natural gas, or oil. According to the National Black Chamber of Commerce it will cost over 2.5 million American jobs. And the Washington Post reported that this bill, “even if it works exactly as planned,” will not stop climate change.

Result:

  • Increases dependence of foreign oil
  • Sends American jobs overseas
  • Does little to stop climate change
May 13th Democrat House Natural Resource Committee staff circulated draft legislation that would discourage domestic oil and gas production by increasing onshore royalty rates (from 12.5% to 18.75%) and decreasing oil and natural gas lease terms (from 10 years to 5 years).

Result:

  • Increases dependence of foreign oil
  • Sends American jobs overseas
  • Does little to stop climate change
February 26th The Administration introduced a budget that contains page after page of taxes on oil and gas totaling more than $31 billion that will reduce our domestic energy production.

The budget also cut funding for nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain – nuclear is a clean, zero carbon emission form of energy.

Result:

  • Increases dependence of foreign oil
  • Sends American jobs overseas
  • Does little to stop climate change
February 25th The Administration delayed the new round of oil shale research, demonstration, and development leases that would help advance American technology and create high-tech jobs in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.

Result:

  • Increases dependence of foreign oil
  • Sends American jobs overseas
  • Does little to stop climate change
February 10th The Administration delayed for six months the development of the new 5-year leasing program for offshore drilling that would have created new jobs, produced more American-made energy, and made us less dependent on foreign oil.

Result:

  • Increases dependence of foreign oil
  • Sends American jobs overseas
  • Does little to stop climate change
February 4th The Administration withdrew areas offered for 77 oil and gas leases in Utah that could cost American taxpayers millions in lost lease bids, production royalties, new jobs and the energy needed to offset rising imports or oil and gas.

Result:

  • Increases dependence of foreign oil
  • Sends American jobs overseas
  • Does little to stop climate change

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Contact: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

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