(CNN) – The controversial Keystone XL pipeline was the subject of Saturday’s weekly Republican address, delivered by Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
The State Department is in the final stages of reviewing the Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Proponents of the project, many of them Republicans that Obama is looking to compromise with on key issues, say Keystone will enable U.S. energy independence, create jobs and develop important industrial infrastructure.
But detractors argue the massive pipeline effort is dangerous, inherently filthy and must be stopped.
Read Scott’s full address below.
“Hi, I’m Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina.
“On the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, my Republican colleagues and I are working to unleash the power of America’s energy sector – which will create jobs and keep more of your hard earned money in your own pockets.
“Unfortunately, President Obama cannot say the same.
“The President is so out of touch with unemployed Americans that he thinks tens of thousands of Keystone XL construction jobs are a ‘blip,’ and ‘not a jobs plan.’
“Meanwhile, the new head of the EPA said she doesn’t want to talk about jobs anymore as she writes new job killing regulations that will put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.
“That’s not leadership.
“In fact, President Obama’s failed leadership on energy policy will cost every American family more when you buy food at the grocery store, take a family vacation, or turn your air conditioner on this summer.
“Every second your refrigerator runs, the electricity to power it costs more because of the lack of an all-of-the-above energy strategy.
“And every time the government tries to pick winners and losers, billions of taxpayer dollars are wasted.
“This mindset disproportionately affects lower-income Americans, as energy costs consume a quarter of after-tax income for families making $30,000 or less.
“The bottom line is the price of energy is higher because of the President’s failed policies.
“When it comes to resources, no nation on Earth has more options at its disposal than America.
“Oil and natural gas alone support over 9 million American jobs and contribute more than $1 trillion to US GDP per year.
“Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has actively blocked and delayed new American energy production, continuing our dependence on dangerous foreign countries for energy.
“And the Administration continues to block projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline, which could support 40,000 new jobs.
“There’s no disputing the fact that energy production is down on federal lands and waters that President Obama controls.
“When President Obama took office in 2009, nearly all of our offshore areas were newly open to American energy production.
“Today, President Obama has effectively re-imposed an offshore moratorium, blocking access to American oil and natural gas resources, preventing the creation of tens of thousands of American jobs and continuing our reliance on foreign oil.
“According to a study, just in my own state of South Carolina, opening the offshore to energy production has the potential to create over 7,500 new jobs, have a statewide economic impact of over $2.2 billion annually, and generate around $87.5 million in new state revenue.
“We’ve seen success stories play out across the country – energy production on state and private lands in places like North Dakota and Texas has skyrocketed.
“In those states, energy permits can be approved in just a few weeks – compared to on federal lands where President Obama’s anti-energy red tape takes over 300 days to approve permits.
“The cost of that delay means less job creation, less economic activity and less American energy.
“So instead of playing politics with energy, we have a plan to jumpstart our economy with it.
“We want a true all-of-the-above energy strategy, because a diverse, market-based energy portfolio of nuclear, wind, solar and other renewables means more competition and lower prices for consumers.
“Republicans will work to stop government policies that are driving up energy costs preventing businesses from hiring new employees.
“There is simply nothing Americans cannot do if the innovation and ingenuity of the private sector is allowed to flourish in the open market.
“Opening access to responsible energy production will lower prices, create jobs, grow our economy, decrease dangerous dependence on foreign oil and lower the deficit by adding much needed revenue to the treasury.
“Republicans will continue working to get government out of the way, which will unleash the potential of a new American energy economy – creating jobs, bringing costs down and keeping more of your hard-earned money in your pockets.
“Thank you and God Bless America”