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Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, May 16, 2012 Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-22), Lynn Jenkins (KS-02), Rep. Rick Berg (ND) and Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01) held a pen & pad press conference to discuss the House Energy Action Team’s upcoming “American Jobs & Energy Tour” on May 24th and 25th in which Members will visit locations around the country that are vital to our nation’s energy security, and will spur economic growth and job creation:

Highlights from Pen & Pad

Majority Whip McCarthy (CA-22):

“During this next district work period, on the 24th and 25th of May; we have nine of the members of the HEAT team doing regional events throughout the country focusing on the energy policy of America.”

“If you read today’s USA Today article on energy independence, it makes the point that HEAT has been advocating, and that point is America’s ability to become energy independent.  This is happening at the state level. In just a short amount of time, because of technology and ingenuity, North Dakota has changed the way our country thinks about energy policy and its direct correlation to jobs.”

“The emphasis of this tour is that Republicans are very committed to changing the policy in America when it comes to energy. I know the President says “all of the above,” but he really means “nothing from below.”  It’s more than just filling up your tires with air. At the same time, there is an ability for American job creation.  We will not settle for the President’s “new normal” of $3.50 a gallon of gasoline. We believe there’s a fundamental difference of what we can do.”

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-02):

“You know, Kansans feel like Obama’s energy policies have failed. And they are eager to see domestic production increased, jobs increased, and for us to be less reliant on foreign sources of oil for national security reasons.  And for us, this is a big deal.  There is oil and gas in 89 of the 105 counties in Kansas.  It’s over a $4 billion industry to Kansas. So, this means jobs to the men and women in our state.”

“And it’s personal for our families as our lifestyle is different in Kansas. We have farm vehicles that are very big that require a lot of fuel.  We spend, I think, a greater proportion of our income on gas and diesel and energy than the average American family. We don’t have Metro in Kansas.  There isn’t public transportation in Holton, Kansas, my hometown of 4,000. We rely on our vehicles and families in Kansas are suffering from prices that are much too high.”

“I think 50 percent of Americans have seen the prices of energy double since 2001.  They’ve seen it double.  It’s taking about one fifth of their household income just to pay for energy costs.  Kansans are ready to see the Republican majority address the issue.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01):

“Next Friday, we’re going to be taking a number of Members out to a deepwater rig in the Gulf of Mexico.  It’s going to be one of Shell’s rigs, and we’re going to be going to both a drilling rig and a drilling platform, so you get to see both the production side as well as the exploration side, in the most sophisticated, highly technological way it’s done in the Gulf of Mexico. These drill ships will allow you to drill up to 10,000 feet below the surface.”

“You get to meet the people that produce energy for America, the highly skilled technical jobs that are involved, the high pay and the great career opportunities that this affords people  the ability to do so much more.”

“The President’s policies, with the moratorium and now with the permatorium, have impacted large and small companies. We’ve seen about 10 big deepwater rigs that have left the country and so we’ve tracked a number of those rigs, and each rig represents about a thousand American jobs that are gone and about a billion dollar asset each.”

“Looking at the small businesses, businesses that can’t just pick up and follow the rigs, our local job creators are still feeling the impact.  A local group recently did a survey of over 100 businesses in the New Orleans region and the impact that the President’s delaying of permits has had on them. The results found that over 50 percent of the businesses have already laid off employees which is causing a ripple effect throughout the gulf coast. The fact is that these policies still haven’t allowed us not only to create jobs but to ensure our energy security, and it has led to higher prices at the pump.”

“There was an LSU professor that had done a study.  He testified before Energy and Commerce not long ago, estimated that 19,000 American jobs have been lost due to the moratorium on offshore drilling, lost wages of over $800 million.  And then there was an IHS Global report that was done that said if you just improve the backlog in the applications to drill, over 230,000 American jobs can be created.”

“This tour is going to be a good opportunity for people to go and actually see how American energy is produced, talk to some of the people that work in this industry and witness the job opportunities and the energy security that is possible in the gulf.”

Rep. Rick Berg (ND):

“I just couldn’t be more excited.  I mean, if you want to envision what this country can look like, both on job creation and energy policy, we’re going to see it next week.  There’s a reason we’re at 3 percent unemployment, there’s a reason our economy grew at 7 percent, there’s a reason that people are starting at 85 grand a year.  Things are booming in North Dakota.”

“If you are not familiar, the Bakken formation is the largest oil discovery in the world in the last 40 years. Its shale and it’s a combination of two things:  the technology of horizontal drilling and also fracking.  And what that is doing is increasing our production from less than 200,000 barrels a day 550,000 barrels a day today.”

“If we start talking about what’s right for America, the clear choice is energy independence. What we’re doing in North Dakota can be replicated across this country and help not only create immediate jobs, but if we’re going to be a world leader economically again, we need a steady, secure supply of energy.  And this is how we get it.  We build that capacity.”

“I’m just thrilled to be on this HEAT team. I’m thrilled to have Kevin coming out to North Dakota and I’m just really excited that people will be able to see firsthand what’s going on out there and how those things can be applied to our country as a whole.”