Cruz: 'Think Bigger' on Energy Than Keystone Pipeline

Image: Cruz: 'Think Bigger' on Energy Than Keystone Pipeline

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 11:03 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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It's time for Republicans to come up with more ideas for increasing the nation's energy output beyond the long-awaited Keystone XL pipeline, Sen. Ted Cruz plans to argue in a speech outlining his own energy bill.

The Texas Republican will address the Heritage Action for America Conservative Policy Summit in Washington on Monday, outlining the principles of a bill he's working on, the American Energy Renaissance Act, The Washington Post reports.

And while he believes President Barack Obama should "drop his political opposition to the Keystone pipeline," Cruz says lawmakers need to "think bigger."

"There is only one thing that will stop us from embracing it to its full potential: the federal government," Cruz will say in Monday's speech, according to prepared remarks released by his staff. "It won't be lack of determination, ingenuity, or grit. It will be some faceless bureaucrat sitting somewhere in some tall building who simply says, 'You're not allowed to do that.' Or worse, 'We'll do that for you.' "

Cruz's push will include offshore oil exploration, increased energy development for federal lands, loosened federal restrictions on hydraulic fracturing by turning concerns over to state governments, ending bans on crude oil exports and ending Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal and electric power plants.

He is expected to point out how expanded focus on energy production has helped the economies of his home state and North Dakota.

"Now, we just have to convince Washington to let it spread through the rest of America," Cruz plans to say.

Aides for Cruz said that he is not dropping his focus on Obamacare, but rather pushing for a "proactive way to create jobs" through developing the nation's energy production.

The Keystone XL pipeline  has remained on hold for several years, and a final decision remains months away, even though the State Department has finished its assessment of the project.

Cruz's ideas include many that have not panned out over the years, including the renewable fuel standard, an idea from former President George W. Bush's administration.

The Obama administration is facing congressional fights as it pushes the president's climate action plan, including regulations to limit greenhouse gases from power plants.

The Cruz plan also takes on the fight for fossil fuel exports. Environmentalists say coal, oil, and gas exports add to the global carbon output.

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