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Scalise and Westmoreland: Power America With Domestic Energy Plan

When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.83. Today, the national average for that same gallon of gas has more than doubled to $3.90. Experts predict a gallon of gas could cost more than $5 by the end of the summer.

Hardworking families already struggling in this tough economy cannot afford this economic burden. Quite simply, the president’s energy policies have failed our country, and it’s time to change this reckless approach and use American energy to power the nation.

Let’s look at the facts:

From 2010 to 2011, total oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down by more than 10 percent.

Earlier this year, the president rejected a permit to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would have created thousands of high-paying American jobs and allowed Canada to send an additional 700,000 barrels of oil to the U.S. daily, reducing our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Under Obama’s proposed five-year offshore lease plan, more than 50 percent of newly available federal waters set to come online are now closed to energy exploration and production.

The president’s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico forced an estimated 19,000 Americans across the country to lose their jobs and caused companies to move valuable assets such as deep-water rigs to foreign countries. It’s a sad indictment of this administration’s energy policies when employers feel more comfortable doing business in Egypt and Ghana than here in America.

Amid all of this, the president continues his call for higher taxes on American-made energy, which any economics student knows will lead directly to higher prices at the pump.

Higher taxes, less production on federal lands, running American energy jobs out of the country, rejecting commonsense proposals to improve our energy security — that’s not an “all of the above” strategy. That’s a recipe for record-high gas prices.

Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning.

When the price of gasoline rises, the price of everything else we purchase quickly follows. Farmers need fuel to run their tractors that till the land and transport their crops to market. When gas prices rise, so does their cost to do business — and that means food prices rise for families. The same can be said for almost every industry in this country.

In 2010, “green energy” made up only 8.3 percent of our total energy consumption, yet instead of allowing private investments to bolster the research and development of renewable energy, we’ve seen Obama invest hard-earned taxpayer money into failed pet projects such as Solyndra.

The president touted Solyndra as a hallmark of his stimulus and green jobs programs, and yet just two years later, the company is bankrupt, its headquarters have been raided by the FBI and more than a thousand workers lost their jobs. Not only are taxpayers now on the hook for more than $500 million, but emails from the Energy Department show that the White House undermined and sped up the loan process just so it could claim credit for a green jobs victory that never happened.

Obama said in his recent State of the Union address that he believes in an all-of-the-above energy strategy, but his actions contradict those words.

He said no to the Keystone XL pipeline and the thousands of jobs that go along with it. He said no to increased energy production on federal lands. He said no to an-all-of-the-above energy strategy.

It’s time to say yes to an all of the above energy strategy to increase American energy security and lower the price of gas at the pump. It’s time to power up the nation with high-paying jobs and American-made energy.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R) represents Georgia’s 3rd district.

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