Keystone XL will create American jobs
This week brought news of the denial of the Keystone XL oil pipeline permit. I support this project and will continue to work for its eventual approval. The partisan gamesmanship and political posturing that surrounded the debate ultimately harmed the very last group of people who deserve it — American workers. This could be a missed opportunity that would create jobs immediately here in America, producing oil on our continent and keeping it here at home. We’ve already seen threats from China to step ahead of us and work to purchase this energy, a sad and dangerous reality of the cheap domestic oil we’re set to miss out on if Washington doesn’t get its act together.
The jobs that the Keystone XL pipeline will create are good opportunities for not only the prospective workers, but their families and communities. The House Energy and Commerce Committee estimates that the immediate impact of the Keystone XL pipeline could create thousands of jobs day one, and this is not an opportunity we can afford to waste. But the ongoing blame game in Washington continues to have a harmful effect on our economy, no matter which side you’re on or who is to blame. Blame will never lower our gas prices, or the growing heating and oil bills so many of our seniors must find ways to afford, nor will it put food on our tables or clothe our children. We have to find a solution to get this project moving ahead and stop the bickering.
Drill here. Drill now. Pay less.
We need an energy plan that works for American families. For far too long, we’ve kowtowed to nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, our only interest being the fulfillment of our country’s apparent addiction to high-priced energy. If we don’t preserve our domestic supply, and use it right here, we only end up further distancing ourselves from a solution. Selling our domestic oil to foreign nations, only to then have them sell it back to us at a higher rate, makes no economic sense and also shows little common sense on our part. We need to drill here, drill now and pay less—all at the benefit of our American workers and the American economy. We can safely and securely provide our nation with needed resources without harming the beautiful Carolina coast.
The Pickens Plan
Our nation has been blessed with an abundance of other sources of energy, from wind and solar to natural gas off our shores. I’ve long supported T. Boone Pickens’ plan to increase our use of natural gas and incentivize its implementation. I was proud to co-sponsor this plan in the 111th Congress, and I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of it again in the 112th. The plan itself does not even call for an increase in natural gas supply, but rather an increase in the means and methods in which its use can be implemented. If we combined this common sense approach with an additional increase in natural gas recovery, we could see the benefits multiply exponentially. A reduction in our reliance on foreign oil, paired with lower oil prices and an affordable new form of energy, would cut costs for families and small businesses and create jobs in a growing and adapting new domestic industry. This is a common sense plan that many throughout our district support, and one I’ll continue to support.
Stand up to China and see American-made solar panels power the world
While the International Trade Commission has made some recent progress in their ongoing investigation of illegal “dumping” of Chinese solar panels in U.S. markets, yet another effort by China to flood our markets here with cheap products, there’s still more work to be done. The Chinese government subsidizes its solar panel industry with over $30 billion a year, and almost every product they create gets dumped in our markets. We have our own solar panel manufacturers right here in North Carolina, including many in our area like SBM Solar in Concord and Sencera in Charlotte, and we need to buy American and support them with a fair opportunity in our markets. China has tried to game the system at each and every turn, and it’s time we put our foot down. We need our own Department of Commerce to immediately finalize their investigation and put pressure on the WTO to impose tariffs and find a way to block this assault on American jobs and business.
Our opportunity is here
We’ve seen failures in government hurt our economy before. Just as NAFTA and CAFTA shifted millions upon millions of our manufacturing jobs elsewhere, leaving our economy behind long before the recession started, so too will a failure to lead on energy. We need to take steps each and every day towards providing opportunity for the generations that follow us, and a smart and comprehensive energy plan will do just that. I’ll continue to push for these measures at every opportunity, and I’ll take the common sense ideas and solutions that I hear from all of you here at home back with me to Washington. Our families and small businesses deserve solutions, not bickering.