Two months ago, President Obama announced his latest stimulus proposal, which is a continuation of the same failed policies we’ve seen over the last three years — higher taxes to fund more costly government spending programs.
Absent from the president’s rhetoric was any mention of unleashing America’s energy resources, a proven way to create more than a million new, good-paying jobs here in the USA.
Virginia and the nation deserve better. With 9.1 percent unemployment and more than 14 million Americans looking for work, it is time for this administration to start viewing America’s energy resources as a blessing, not a curse.
One of the major components of my comprehensive, pro-growth plan for jobs — “The Blueprint for America’s Comeback” — is the aggressive pursuit of energy freedom by opening up access to America’s plentiful energy resources and taking control of our own energy destiny.
Fortunately, an opportunity exists for the president to take real action right now to strengthen America’s energy security and create jobs.
Earlier this month, I joined Governor Bob McDonnell and leaders from across Virginia in urging the Obama administration to approve the construction of an advanced pipeline linking Canada and the United States.
The Keystone XL Project will bring more than 700,000 additional barrels of domestic and Canadian oil each day to refineries in Texas. Construction alone will mean jobs for as many as 20,000 Americans, and related economic activity is projected to bring around 100,000 additional hires. Property tax revenues in states through which the pipeline passes could exceed $5 billion, meaning more resources for schools, roads and public safety. And the energy flowing through the pipeline will be from our closest neighbor and ally, not from an unstable and unfriendly foreign regime.
With so much to gain, why is the White House delaying? The Obama administration has yet to approve the permit needed for construction to begin. Bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, D.C. are standing in the way of a project that would create thousands of new jobs, increase our long-term supply of affordable energy and generate revenues without raising taxes.
When it comes to energy, this is just the latest contradiction between the president’s words and his actions. Since 2008, President Obama has touted the job-creating promise of his energy agenda. Instead, we see misused taxpayer funds for unreliable, expensive energy schemes; higher fuel prices; blocked energy development of American coal, oil and natural gas resources; and continued high unemployment over 9 percent.
The good news is that America has the most plentiful energy resources of any country in the world. Our reserves and recoverable oil, natural gas and coal exceed the resources of such energy giants as Saudi Arabia, China and Russia.
Despite this bounty, our dependence on foreign oil is greater today than it was in the days of President Jimmy Carter’s gas lines. Federal bureaucrats continue to hold America’s energy resources “off limits,” and promising ventures like the Keystone pipeline are stopped at the Canadian border.