Make Our Energy More Reliable and More Affordable

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 18, 2014
Location: Washington, DC


Thank you to the gentleman from Nebraska for bringing together my colleagues, with tremendous energy--my colleagues who have the energy to talk about this package of bills that will encourage investment in our infrastructure, lower energy prices, and create good-paying jobs for millions of Americans.

My home State of Indiana is especially well-positioned to take advantage of Chairman Upton's and what they are calling in Energy and Commerce the ``architecture of abundance'' that is embodied in the bill that we just voted on and passed.

Last week, the commissioner of Indiana's Department of Environmental Management testified before the Energy and Commerce Committee that, in fact, 28,000 Hoosiers are employed in the coal industry and that our State sits on top of a 300-year supply of this abundant resource.

By rolling back the disastrous proposed EPA regulations on coal-fired gas plants, this bill will save Hoosiers 32 percent on their electric rates and keep our businesses competitive.

As the Nation's leading manufacturing State, Indiana heavily contributes to the oil and gas extraction business by producing the equipment that makes the energy renaissance possible.

In fact, the industry already contributes $16.6 billion to the Hoosier economy, while supporting over 136,000 jobs. H.R. 2 will expedite LNG export applications and approve the Keystone pipeline, initiatives that we know would add billions of annual GDP to our economy and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.

Make no mistake, I also fully understand the value that renewable resources play in our energy mix. My district alone is home to two ethanol plants, a wind farm, and a newly-opened solar plant.

Renewables bolster Indiana's local economies while supporting 53,000 Hoosier jobs. This is a massive growth sector in our State, and H.R. 2 would continue to promote the development of alternative sources of energy for the benefit of our economy and the environment.

The Congressman from Nebraska's bill makes pipelines more feasible; and, as the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found, ``pipelines provide safer, less expensive transportation than railroads'' that currently carry gas and oil.

Pipelines mean fewer spills, less emissions from vehicles transporting fuel, and better access to natural gas which produces 30 percent less emissions than petroleum.

Republicans are committed to a responsible environmental policy that protects our children from pollutants and preserves our pristine wildlife for generations to come.

However, American ingenuity and technological advancements have allowed U.S. energy-related carbon emissions to fall to their lowest levels in nearly two decades, showing we can tap into our vast natural resources while still being responsible stewards of our environment.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence and 14 other Governors recently wrote to the President:

The economic health of our Nation depends on accomplishing a balanced energy and environmental policy.

Madam Speaker, that is exactly what this bill does. I hope the President listens, and I applaud the gentleman from Nebraska for his leadership on this issue.