May 23rd, 2009
10:52 AM ET
6 years ago

GOP senator calls on Dems to explore energy options

(CNN) – Republican Sen. John Barrasso on Saturday accused Democrats of trying to limit the country's energy options instead of supporting a "comprehensive plan."

"Democrats have focused solely on what they call green jobs. Those are jobs from alternative energy. I support green jobs, but why discriminate? American energy means American jobs, which is why I support red, white, and blue jobs," he said in the weekly Republican address.

"Republicans support a comprehensive energy plan. A plan that puts Americans to work. A plan that harnesses American resources," the Wyoming senator said.

Barrasso said the GOP supports developing renewable energy and alternative energy, doubling the investment in energy research, exploring American oil and gas resources and promoting clean coal and nuclear power.

Democrats, he charged, "want to put a new tax on American energy."

President Obama has called for Congress to send him an energy bill this year.

Lawmakers have been working on bills that would create a so-called "cap and trade" system for U.S. businesses to sell credits for pollution.

Republican critics say the measure amounts to a "national energy tax," contending that as utility companies work to meet the new standards, they will pass on the costs of the new mandates to consumers.

"No one wants to pay higher energy costs. We must produce more American energy and use less," Barrasso said, arguing that "there is plenty of American energy which the Democrats say that we should not use."

"There are billions of barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf. There's even more in Alaska. There's enough oil shale in the Rocky Mountain west alone to power America for the next hundred years. The Democrats say all this American energy is off limits," he said.

Barrasso cited his home state, which he said is the largest net supplier of energy in the country.

"In Wyoming, we have found the right balance between protecting our environment and developing our energy resources," he said.

"As we approach this Memorial Day, it is my hope that the Democrats can work with us to develop solutions to make our energy supply clean, affordable, and reliable."

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

"Hi, I'm Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming.

"Many Americans spend their Memorial Day weekend traveling with family to visit relatives and friends.

"It's a weekend of ceremonies, parades and cookouts.

"Memorial Day is a time to remember America's fallen heroes – men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and prosperity of our great country.

"This weekend we pay tribute to their courage.

"Today I'd like to visit with you about the energy we use to power our nation.

"Republicans support a comprehensive energy plan. A plan that puts Americans to work. A plan that harnesses American resources.

"You may have heard that Democrats in Washington are looking to limit our country's energy options.

"It's true. They want to put a new tax on American energy. A new tax every time you turn on a light switch. American families already spend more than $2,000 a year on home energy costs alone.

"No one wants to pay higher energy costs. We must produce more American energy and use less.

"We need to make America's energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising energy prices for American families.

"That means developing renewable energy and alternative energy.

"It means doubling our investment in energy research.

"It also means responsibly exploring and developing American oil and gas resources, and promoting clean coal and nuclear power.

"The Republican plan will strengthen our economy, protect our environment, and enhance our national security.

"Democrats have focused solely on what they call green jobs. Those are jobs from alternative energy.

"I support green jobs, but why discriminate?

"American energy means American jobs, which is why I support red, white, and blue jobs.

"We should harness the strong work ethic and the creativity of the American people.

"We are a nation that sent men to the moon and safely returned them to Earth.

"Surely we have the creativity and the knowledge to use our nation's energy resources to power our country.

"And with the continued global instability, using American energy seems more important than ever before.

"Energy use around the world continues to increase. It will increase 50 percent in the next 20 years.

"Wind and solar power are very important. We must continue to develop these resources.

"Right now they only count for roughly one percent of U.S. electricity.

"I'm a strong supporter of renewable energy. In Wyoming we have world-class wind resources. But even if we double our nation's wind and solar energy, and then double it again, it won't be enough to meet our energy needs.

"We need more energy. And we need it even at times when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.

"There remains a large gap – an energy gap between the reliable energy that we need – and the renewable energy that we want.

"There is plenty of American energy which the Democrats say that we should not use.

"There are billions of barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf. There's even more in Alaska. There's enough oil shale in the Rocky Mountain west alone to power America for the next hundred years.

"The Democrats say all this American energy is off limits.

"When we limit our use of American energy, we become more dependent on foreign oil.

"As a nation, we need to be more energy independent. It is a matter of energy security, as well as national security.

"My home state of Wyoming is the largest net supplier of energy in the country.

"Visitors from around the world come to Wyoming because of our national parks and our beautiful wide-open landscapes.

"In Wyoming, we have found the right balance between protecting our environment and developing our energy resources.

"Americans need more energy. More from our American sources – all of our sources – all of our American sources. And importantly, we must do more to promote conservation, boost the efficient use of energy, and double our nation's investment in energy research.

"Each of these pieces is an essential part of creating American jobs, reducing our reliance on foreign oil, and keeping our energy affordable.

"As we approach this Memorial Day, it is my hope that the Democrats can work with us to develop solutions to make our energy supply clean, affordable, and reliable.

"Thank you for listening."


Filed under: Energy
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Claudia in Houson

    I hear him talking, but I don't hear a plan. Demos are closed to listening to a plan but the only one Repugs have is a plan to be re-elected.

    May 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    These suddenly energy minded Pubs had eight years to come up with a plan, now, as if by magic they have an answer to everything. Where have you been? You squandered your time.

    May 23, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Bob (Illinois)

    @Dawn:

    "Three mile Island was 30 minutes away from a total meltdown and the State of Pennsylavania would be no more, or Ohio, Virginia, W.V. Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey or part of New York, yep, lets build more death traps."

    You are seriously misinformed. Period

    May 23, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Bob (Illinois)

    The transition to a more green source of economy cannot come with a financial cost. I don't look forward to paying the bill but NOT doing anything is just plain stupid.

    As to "Drill Baby Drill", that has been thoroughly discredited as a solution to all but a VERY SMALL part of the problem.

    May 23, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. mike,texas

    Obama dosent control oil the rich republicans do.Their is a major breakthrew in hydrogen that is going to put big oil out of business.Details are in the near future,hang in there world.

    May 23, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Osama Bin Laden

    Whut plan Repukelikems? Yo had eight years to form a plan. Where's it at??? Instead of trying to steel my fellow muslims drill fer youse.

    May 23, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Perusing-Through

    The Republicans need not worry. The Democrats are not calling Bush and Cheney oil & energy buddies to the White House, as did Cheney to carve out the same failed energy strategies secretly established by Cheney to line the pockets of Cheney and his friends.

    May 23, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. tedious898

    Sam,

    Try getting an education is macro economics. Here's a hint ...."its driving season" Petroleum producers understand that very obvious point. They reduce supply to raise the price. There is nothing the President can do about that except push for alternative energy sources.

    And...refer to our CIC as President Obama. He's earned the title "butt head"

    May 23, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Andi

    Here we go again.....here's the GOP trying to frighten people, again.

    "EEEK, the President is going to raise all your taxes to fund clean energy and we know global warming is a hoax just so we have to pay more while others get handouts"

    Good Lord. We're supposed to be "Home of the Brave", not "Home of those who fear whatever the GOP says is scary"

    May 23, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. NYC REPUB

    Oh one last thing, I do believe we should explore nuclear plants....but I have to do my homework to see how safe it is.

    May 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. g

    nuclear energy is vital to our national security. we should model ourseleves on france ; eliminating; fed; state; and county multiple regulation hurdles providing a framework for fast development of same type nuclear reactors versus mult-type reactors. per kwh hr nuclear energy without any subsidies is the most cost effeciant less polluting energy sources available today. we can learn to store and maintain used nuclear materials and keep water retention facilities safe. right now to power our nuclear plants we are buying all of our fissionable material from russia rather than producing our own. if we want clean oil; clean gas; clean shale oil and coal technologies it must be solvable and cost- effective. the money spent to find ways of utilizing coal oil and gas clean techs must also be available for nuclear.
    there is no barrier to what we can do; if we can clean oils gas and coal why not a mandate for scientists to do the same for nuclear.

    May 23, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Brian

    In another 5 to 10 years we are in for a worse shock if we don't change things. We will be seeing prices at the pump that will be a minimum of $4 per gallon. In fact, I think that gas will be $3.50 per gallon next summer. Therefore, I think we should develop renewables more extensively. British Petroleum is...

    May 23, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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