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Bakersfield Observed: McCarthy: Obama's Move To Tap Into Petroleum Reserves A Cheap Gimmick To Win Votes, But Creates No Jobs

Jun 24, 2011
In The News
By Kevin McCarthy
June 24, 2011

The Obama Administration's decision to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve this week underscores the problem with the President's energy policy. This was a decision to score political points, pure and simple. Americans consume 19 million barrels of oil every day, which means that the 30 million barrels of oil the President is releasing could be consumed in a matter of 36 hours. And it doesn't create a single job. House Republicans have passed four pieces of legislation since May that would allow Americans to start taking advantage of our own abundant energy resources, create hundreds of thousands of American jobs and reduce our dependence on unstable foreign oil.

One of these bills is H.R. 2021, the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011, which the House passed on Wednesday. This legislation reduces regulatory duplication to allow responsible oil production in Alaska to move forward, which could produce up to one million barrels of oil per day. This level of production could create tens of thousands of jobs throughout the U.S. and actually offset foreign oil imports by seven percent – a win-win for America's economy and energy security now and in the future. While it will take some time to ramp up to maximum production, certainty that more oil will be coming into the market could help ease prices today.

My colleagues and I also took action to revamp our patent system this week to keep America the leader in technological innovation. If we just look at the latest developments in the past fifty years, advances in science, medicine and technology have truly transformed our daily lives. I don't know what my kids would do without their cell phones. Our country remains the world leader in patents, but our global competitors are catching up. Lawmakers in Washington have long been discussing needed reforms to our patent system so the U.S. can stay number one, and on Thursday, Democrats and Republicans in the House  came together to pass the America Invents Act. In a nutshell, this legislation contains reforms that will make it easier for innovators, who produce new technologies that drive economic growth and generate jobs, to obtain and defend their patents.

Speaking of technology, I had a very productive discussion with residents in East Kern this week during a telephone town hall meeting. I like to do these live calls regularly to speak directly with you, hear your concerns and answer your questions. I am planning one for Bakersfield soon, so I hope you'll participate when I call.

Also this week, we had a reception in Washington for all the Congressional Art Competition winners. Christiana Kallemeyn, the winner from California's 22nd District, was in attendance with her family, and it was great to spend time with them.