Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is focusing his campaign comeback bid on a bold new energy program designed to lower fuel prices and bring down the cost of gasoline to just $2.50 a gallon.
The former House speaker’s campaign has announced that it will be purchasing 30-minute blocks of time in key markets between now and Super Tuesday to air an address by Gingrich on the subject of lowering gasoline prices, creating jobs, and achieving energy independence.
“Americans have every right to demand $2.50 gas — we are an oil-rich country,” Gingrich tells Newsmax.
“My plan will have the price of gasoline at $2.50 a gallon so that Americans aren’t penalized every time they go to the pump.”
And Gingrich Communications Director Joe DeSantis says: “The answer to Governor Romney’s 30-second attack ads filled with garbage is a 30-minute address filled with substance.
“Newt’s message about lowering gasoline and other energy prices is resonating and the Obama administration is on defense over their policies hostile to American energy production, which are causing pain at the pump.”
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has called Newt’s message on energy “spot on. Drill now and stop bowing to foreign regimes, begging them to do it for us.”
And Democratic political analyst Donna Brazile said after Newt’s performance at Wednesday night’s presidential debate, in which he discussed his energy policy: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Newt found his way back to be the frontrunner.”
In the address that the Gingrich campaign will air in key markets, he says his energy plan “comes down to a simple idea: What if we had a program that enabled the American people to develop so much new energy that we were, in fact, no longer reliant on Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran? We didn’t care what the Iranians did in the Strait of Hormuz because we were safe, in national security terms.
“What if that new energy program created well over a million new jobs, high paying jobs, jobs that put Americans back to work and kept the money here at home that we had been sending overseas, giving us a dramatic improvement in our balance of payments, strengthening the dollar and giving us a chance to live much freer and more independently?
“What if that very idea also meant that we’d have dramatic increases in federal revenue without a tax increase, that in fact the federal government would have literally an entire new stream of money?
“And finally, what if that big new idea meant that you personally were better off because you are buying gasoline for $2.50 a gallon, not for $3.89 or $4 or what some people project by the summer could be $5 or more?
“How is that possible, you ask? Well, that is what is exciting, and that is one of the reasons I’m running for president.”
Gingrich points out that thanks to new technology and innovative drilling methods, the United States may now have more accessible oil than we have actually pumped since 1870, including huge oil deposits in North Dakota and new discoveries of natural gas large enough by some estimates to supply the nation for more than 100 years.
“Since the mid 1970s,” he goes on to say, “we’ve known that the Arab states and Iran combined have dominated oil production and have used their leverage to raise the cost of oil and to bring political pressure to bear on the Americans and on the Europeans.
“Now, I want to get to a point where we produce so much oil in the United States that no American president will ever again bow to a Saudi king.
“There is at least one study already out there that says by 2017, if we do the right things, we will produce more oil than either Russia or Saudi Arabia, and we will regain, by the end of the decade, being the leading producer of oil in the world.
“What I want to do is accelerate that for a couple of reasons: First of all, to get this economy back on track. If you had $500 billion a year that was not going overseas, that was paying royalties in the U.S., paying landowners, paying people to go out and develop the oil, you would suddenly have a really booming economy right here at home.
“There is a second part: Every time gas prices go up, they are the equivalent of a tax on working Americans and retired Americans. Think about it: You go to the gas station. If you are paying $4 a gallon, you have a lot less money left each week than if you are paying $2.50 a gallon. Now $2.50 may sound like it is an impossible number, but that’s baloney.
“When I was speaker of the House, we paid $1.13 on average during the four years that I was speaker. When Barack Obama became president, we paid $1.89 that week.
“But the Obama administration is so anti-oil, so anti-gas, so anti-fossil fuels in general . . .
“Under President Obama, because he is so anti American energy, we have actually had a 40 percent reduction in development of oil offshore, and we have had a 40 percent reduction in the development of oil on federal lands. This is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.
“What we should do and what I will do as your president is I will authorize the development of offshore [drilling], as long as it is far enough out that it is not visible, and it is not a threat to tourism or the fisheries. And I will authorize the development of federal lands that are appropriate.”
Gingrich calls on the country to set three basic goals:
First, become energy independent for national security reasons.
Second, develop enough new energy here at home to create well over a million high-paying jobs in the next few years.
Third, use the trillions of dollars collected in royalties to pay down the federal debt. “By using federal property and by allowing offshore development on federally controlled waters, we get paid a royalty,” Gingrich says. “One of the leading experts on North Dakota has suggested that we might well have over the next generation $18 trillion, not billion, $18 trillion in royalties that we could gather for the federal government with no tax increases.”
Gingrich also vows that on his first day as president, he would sign an executive order approving the Keystone pipeline to deliver Canadian oil to refineries on our Gulf Coast and create thousands of new jobs in this country.
In conclusion, Gingrich says gasoline at $2.50 a gallon will put more money in every American’s pocket, noting: “Every time you can lower the cost of energy, you make it easier for us to have manufacturing and you lower the cost of living. It is a win win environment.
“You also know that if you do this, we have a lot more jobs, and we need a growing economy with a lot of new jobs, because we want to be a country where America works best when Americans are working.
“We are not a country of food stamps and welfare. We are a country of the work ethic, of a job, of take home pay, of opening up our own business. And this kind of energy program will do just that.”
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