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Senator Questions President's Energy Stance

Chuck Grassley says State of Union message doesn't match up with recent energy decisions.

Published on: Jan 26, 2012

On Tuesday evening as President Obama presented his State of the Union Address, he spoke at length about energy. Calling it his "blueprint" the President said his administration will open more than 75% of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. He also said we've subsidized oil companies long enough. 

"It's time to end taxpayer giveaways to this profitable industry," President Obama said. "It is time to double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising.  Pass clean energy tax credits.  Create these jobs."

In response to the President's speech, Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa pointed out that the President's decision last week, to deny the Keystone pipeline project, prevents energy-related infrastructure development that creates jobs, in this case as many as 20,000 jobs. 

"The decision also stymies an energy partnership with a friendly neighbor, and whether or not the United States approves the Keystone project, the oil will be produced, and if it doesn't come here, China likely will get it," Grassley said. "The result of this decision is just the opposite of what our national priority ought to be and that's opportunity."

Despite the division on Capitol Hill, the President said there's no reason why Congress shouldn't at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. 

"I'm directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes," President Obama said. "Also, so much of America needs to be rebuilt.  We've got crumbling roads and bridges; a power grid that wastes too much energy; and an incomplete high-speed broadband network." 

While many agricultural leaders were pleased by the pledge from the President to work toward energy independence, the absence of mentioning waterway infrastructure concerned ASA President Steve Wellman. He also urged the administration to reduce regulatory burdens on farmers by requiring agencies to review existing regulations.