May 23rd, 2009
10:52 AM ET
11 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. Proud DHS radical

    Yep! That lame brain ideal call Cap and Trade is going to tap our wallets pretty darn good folks! Are you ready to pay 75% or more on your utility bills? And why are democrats against building new nuclear power plants here but feels it's okay to assist middle eastern countries to build theirs??

    May 23, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. bill

    we noticed how you cared about the average person the last 8 years. i wish the so called "religious right" would understand the Bible talks about taking care of the sick, the homeless, the elderly. and now this wall street junkie talks about jobs???? wow. the economics of the bush era was create a war–wars create jobs–people with jobs from the result of an illegal war–spend money and "every American can own their own home."

    May 23, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Were these GOPs calling for the same thing under the Bush regime? I sure don't remember it if they did. A pack of hypocrites.

    May 23, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Dawn

    Wow Proud DH S redical, not in my State! Pennsylavania was the first nuclear disaster, remember 3 mile island? I have Limerick only about 20 miles away. You think that they are quite safe, asked the women who had babies with birth defects, the water around the plant is hot and you want to the United States to have more plants.

    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.

    May 23, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. JonDie

    Americans use 25% of the world's oil yet we only have 3% of the world's known reserves so We can NEVER drill to energy independence; this is just the Republicans' excuse to keep filling the oil company executives' pockets with record profits.

    Unfortunately most Americans are math-illiterates so they literally can't do the math.

    May 23, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Neal

    We need nuclear power to be included in the mix. Nuckear power may not be THE answer to our energy needs but it certainly is part of the answer.

    May 23, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Minnesotan

    Republicans! Wake up! The Dems have been talking about a "comprehensive plan" the whole time!

    May 23, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. T Mckinley

    Energy options? Comprehensive energy plan?

    Or just DRILL BABY DRILL?

    May 23, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Neal

    While Three Mile Island was a serious situation, it also proved that the design of the plants work to keep us safe.

    May 23, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Gennie

    When will these silly Republicans quit whinning and gripping about EVERYTHING?!!? Enough already!

    May 23, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. Ellie

    Just another disgruntled Republican dancing to the tunes of Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh!

    May 23, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Ellie

    Republican Senator John Barrasso is exactly why our country is in the mess it's in. Republicans like him, need to be voted OUT!

    May 23, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Lacey

    Barrasso is nothing but a "left over" Bush Republican.

    May 23, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. David

    This is just another Repub tactic trying to defend a dependence on oil. We know that there is another solar and wind power available to provide all our energy needs. The more effective our solar panels are on our homes along with wind turbines, and improved battery storage capabilities, the less we will have a need for oil. The goal is ZERO oil and gas consumption, and green energy at ZERO cost to the consumer. As it should be.

    May 23, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. HAWK IN TEXAS

    Republican plan for renewable energy, DRILL, DRILL DRILL.

    May 23, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Jaison Biagini

    new plants are infinitely more safe than those built in the 70's. i'm all for that. i'm not for drilling everywhere for 3 reasons. 1. it does ruin the area where it's done. 2. if we drill that will stop the progress on building better, low carbon emitting cars. 3. all those thing, aside from nuclear create lots of pollution. not just in the air but in the water.

    if we want to move ahead in a way that creates jobs and is safe for the environment we need to try to move away from oil and coal. more natural gas is a direction we should be moving also, we have tons, it's easier to get to, and it burns MUCH cleaner than gas.

    May 23, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Russ

    The gas and oil companies have proven they are more than capable of taking care of themselves and don't need government funding. Look at Exxon, who posts record earnings and then cries they need federal funding. Forget it. Obama and the Dems are moving the country in the right direction by only focusing on new renewable energy sources.

    May 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. ib

    Wait until all you liberals have to pay out the nose for alternative energy that is not developed yet. We do need to use oil and coal until these alternative energy products are developed enough so that they have a decent price on them. I'm all for alternative energy but we are a long way from being there.You talk about republicans whining; look in the mirror all you do is whine and refuse to use common sense.

    May 23, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. karkri

    where was this fool and his "grand old party" for the past 8 years when they had both the white house and the congress? now they want a comprehensive plan? does this party of idiots even comprehend what a "comprehensive plan" means?

    May 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Jeff

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

    So what's his amazing master plan to get people to use less energy if it costs the same? We Americans have proven ourselves to be selfish and myopic when it comes to energy usage. We'll keep buying SUVs right up until the gas prices go up. We keep wasting electricity in our homes because it's cheap. We need prices to rise in order to lower usage. People won't change their habits until they get hit in the wallet.

    May 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Sam

    Obama must be buddies with big oil. Gasoline is up 36 cents a gallon in the last month and up 70 cents since Obama took office. I wish we could get a President who would'nt cater to big oil like Obama! Cap and trade is going to put a lot of stress on the middle class to make their heating bill payments and Obama's new executive order on cafe standards will make cars less safe by reducing their size. These are 2 indirect taxes on the middle class that will be cost prohibitive for families. This will force families to turn down their thermostat not by choice but by the cost of energy. Is'nt is nice to have a president more concerned about the environment than the people of this country.

    May 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Ken in NC

    Republicans have a valid point on the "DRILL BABY DRILL" theory. Maybe we should proceed with getting them on the operating table, shave their heads and "DRILL BABY DRILL". Once this is done we can explore the depths of space a lot cheaper than the cost of shooting a rocket into space. We can just put small ships through the holes into the Republican spaces.

    May 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Michael Sutherland

    I for one support exploring for some domestic oil–not so much to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, but as an additional stimulus measure.

    And I absolutely believe in green energy. But I think it's foolish to altogether ignore fossil fuels in the interim, before green sources become more viable.

    May 23, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. BOUDIN

    If they would open up our land for drilling, as well as offshore in other parts of the country (california, east coast) we would have plenty of domestic oil and gas right here at home.

    May 23, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Osama Bin Laden

    A promise is a promis but don't mean nothin' to Americans. Why yo think I's so mad.

    May 23, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
1 2 3