Ted Poe: Obama Has 'Stonewalled' on Drilling, Energy Development

Thursday, 01 Mar 2012 09:42 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Ashley Martella

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President Barack Obama’s energy policy is not the all-of-the-above policy it advertises but is instead the restrictive “nothing from below,” Congressman Ted Poe tells Newsmax.TV.

The Texas Republican, in a wide-ranging interview on energy policy, also faulted the administration for its handling of the Keystone XL pipeline project and the nation’s rising gas prices.

Story continues below.

“The administration’s policy is nothing from below: nothing from the below the ground, nothing from below the sea,” Poe said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax. “Therefore, the administration has stonewalled energy production in the United States by not granting more permits, by not allowing there to be more offshore drilling, drilling on public lands, and, of course, the Keystone pipeline delaying the implementation of that.”

Poe also slammed Obama’s handling of the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas. The administration initially blocked the project over environmental concerns but has not given its blessing for construction of the project’s southern leg that would run from Oklahoma to Texas.

“We need to get all of the oil from Alberta down to Texas, not just some of it that is in different locations along the pipeline,” he said. “This is a start. We need the pipeline the entire distance but we need, especially, that portion in Nebraska on the re-routing. The folks in Nebraska work with the Canadians. They’ve picked a different route. Let’s approve this and start getting the crude oil. It’s not like this is an overnight decision. The approval process has taken longer than World War II. Come on! How long do you need to make up your mind whether or not you’re going to allow this pipeline? Pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil. We need to have the pipeline.”

Poe said should the president announce that the entire pipeline would be built it would drive down the price of crude oil. He also discounted critics who argue that most of the oil that would run through the pipeline would be shipped overseas. He said his understanding was that at least 95 percent of the oil would be used in the United States.

“If there is an excess, then sure, like any other business, it will be allowed to be exported. Of course we can do that,” he said. “But most of it will be used, 95 percent will be used in the United States for American energy because we need it here in the United States.”

On other subjects, Poe:
  • Predicted gasoline prices will be a “major issue in the presidential campaign,” noting that when Obama took office gas was under $2 a gallon.
  • Advocated for Supreme Court proceedings to be broadcast. The member of the House Judiciary Committee said the public should not be denied access to viewing the proceedings. “It’s time for us to have open access to the Supreme Court for the American public to view it. It can be done. Let’s just go ahead and get it done.”
  • Said Israeli comments that it will not give the Obama administration a heads-up if it decides to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities “shows the mutual distrust between the administration and Israel.”
  • Said there is growing animosity between Moscow and Washington. “The Russians are still the same. There’s no longer any Soviet Union, but their philosophy and their world view continues, in my opinion, to be the same. They want to be a big player in that portion of the world. They want to have some control, some power, some influence. One of those ways is to help the Syrians and warn them if the Israelis promote a strike. We can all understand where the Russians are in this world conflict.”

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