Congressman McCarthy Statement on Ensuring our Nation's Energy Security
Congressman Kevin McCarthy today made the following comments at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Field Hearing on domestic oil production in Bakersfield:
"We have to be honest with ourselves. We have the resources in America, we have the ability. If we make the decision that we do not want to utilize our natural resources, that doesn't mean we're not going to get it from somewhere else. That just means we're going to pay somebody else, somebody else is going to have the jobs and it's going to cost our own economy. ... So that's what today's hearing's about. We want to protect our environment, we want to do it in a common sense, sound way that makes the investment right here and we want to utilize the technology that allows us to do it."
I do want to thank Chairman Issa, he's been going up and down throughout the nation. Kern County's not new to him, he's been throughout here. But the work that he's done through his Committee, his Committee is Government House Oversight and for too long government has not had the oversight. We have passed a lot of different pieces of legislation but we've never gone back and had the accountability, and his is the one Committee that brings the accountability back to government and he's done an extraordinary job with it so far. And the one thing I want to thank him for coming to the 22nd congressional district. And when you look at the challenges, what Blake talked about, the security of America from jobs, from the ability to have energy independence, there is probably no better district in the nation than the 22nd district. We go from the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean. We have the fourth largest potential in wind in the nation, fourth largest in the state for solar. You can go across; you can find a nuclear facility in San Luis Obispo. You go up to find geothermal in Ridgecrest. But as Kern County knows, we produce more than 70 percent of all the oil in California; 10 percent of the nation, one percent of the world. For more than 100 years, so the technology has to be different. But as technology has changed our life as I look across into this field of individuals, they all have different forms of cameras. With the Apollo landing on the moon, there is more technology in my blackberry today than there was on the Apollo. It has made our life better, and just as that technology has improved it has improved our ability to use the resources of America instead of paying someone else for it. When we send our money someplace else, we send our jobs someplace else, but we also constrain our economy. Now we are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, but do we have the ability to bring it up? We've watched fields more than 100 years old and there are independent representatives here in the oil business that many have sold them and moved on. We find in Kern County you have Oxy as based here, well government sold them their field for $3 billion and they thought they got a real good deal at it, because they didn't think anything would extract. One of the largest finds, discovered in the last little bit, is out there. So there is new potential each and every day. Our decision has to be as Americans do we want to control our own future? Do we want to invest in America, and do we want to use that technology so we protect our environment at the same time and make it better than we are using it today? I mean it's almost every week I'm able to go out and see a new form. In Kern County our oil happens to be thicker, so we have to enhance it to get it even to come up. We have now used new technology where we have first in the world putting a solar panels out there to put the steam in. It is a new approach, a new style. And that's what we believe in; America reaching the new opportunities. Now look, Winston Churchill always said about America you can always count on them to do what's right after they've exhausted every other option, and I think that's right when you look at our energy policies. We put an Energy Department because we wanted to become energy independent. We import more today than when we created that department. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have the resources in America, we have the ability. If we make the decision that we do not want to utilize our natural resources, that doesn't mean we're not going to get it from somewhere else. That just means we're going to pay somebody else, somebody else is going to have the jobs and it's going to cost our own economy. Now we've watched that and we've watched the world continue to grow. So that's what today's hearing's about. We want to protect our environment, we want to do it in a common sense, sound way that makes the investment right here and we want to utilize the technology that allows us to do it. It's a little ironic that the chairman of this Committee probably knows technology better than anybody else inside Congress. He was very successful in business based upon technology, and he continues to enhance that ability and apply that. But also, he understands accountably and that's what he wants to apply to government as well. That's why he goes out across the county and has a hearing and goes directly to where it could have an effect. So I want to thank the Chairman I want to thank the Committee and I yield back.