Democrats should back construction of the Keystone oil sands pipeline, and the Obama administration should give further consideration to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said Saturday.
The governor, devoting the weekly Republican address to energy independence, said federal regulations are keeping states from enjoying the economic boom that would come from using native oil and gas reserves, reports The Hill
"If Washington, D.C. would start working with states to unlock access to federal lands, an economic boom would be felt across this nation, lifting wages, and creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and improving our national security through energy independence," said Parnell. Washington, he said, should not lock up the nation's resources.
"America’s resources belong to Americans," the governor said. "They should be unlocked for our benefit and not locked up by Washington."
The Keystone pipeline "is truly shovel-ready," said Parnell, calling on the Democratic-led Senate to follow House Republicans in backing the pipeline, which supporters say will create up to 20,000 jobs.
"This common sense energy infrastructure project is truly shovel-ready, and yet the White House threatened it with a veto," he said. "The project could already be well underway, but the State Department has unnecessarily delayed the project for years."
Parnell also pointed out that his state has offered to pay one-third of cost for a fact-finding misison to study the energy potential for drilling on the federally owned Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a much-debated issue.
"While the federal government wastes precious taxpayer dollars on green energy boondoggles that have collapsed in failure and bankruptcy, many with no benefit to America, access to federal lands has been consistently blocked by this administration,"
Parnell said. "Offshore drilling has been stalled. Permitting for energy that can restore jobs across America is delayed. That’s not the 'all of the above' energy strategy that the president promised."
Parnell plans to seek re-election in 2014. He took office in 2009, replacing former Gov. Sarah Palin, who stepped down after her 2008 GOP vice presidential bid.
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