At the National Constitution Center speech on Tuesday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took issue with the Obama administration’s energy policy, saying that decisions on subjects like fracking and pipelines weren’t based in science and are being influenced by interest groups and celebrities like Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga.
Jindal spoke at the 11th Annual Templeton Lecture for Economic Liberty and the Constitution in Philadelphia, before an enthusiastic audience, and he didn’t hold back on his criticism.
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Near the end of the event, Jindal said he wanted to use some proactive words to spark a debate about an energy policy he thought was lacking in Washington.
“The energy industry is the most critical industry in my state and I have made it my goal to foster a positive economic climate for any energy companies that want to invest in Louisiana,” Jindal said. “There are lots of great stories about what is happening in Louisiana’s energy sector. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for some of the energy policies coming out of Washington these days. “
“The bureaucrats at the EPA and in the White House are setting an agenda that threatens the U.S. energy sector, and therefore threatens to stifle the entire American economy.”
Jindal said the Obama administration’s energy policies are set “by Washington politicians and extremist, far-left environmental activists.” He pointed to the Keystone XL Pipeline as an “ultimate example” of Washington politics.
“There are no logical reasons to oppose construction of the pipeline other than an irrational liberal ideology that blindly and unscientifically opposes all forms of energy that they do not deem to be sufficiently ‘green’ or ‘renewable,’” he said.
Jindal also downplayed the current low levels of U.S. oil imports.
“The fact of the matter is the Keystone XL pipeline would give America a real chance to become much more energy secure, and less reliant on OPEC without harming the environment,” he said.
Jindal said recent studies showed that pipeline would have no material impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and it would also create jobs.
“Suffice it to say that the left’s opposition to Keystone is not based on science or on any facts, it’s simply an article of their faith,” he said.
He also criticized Democrats who opposed hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for not understanding the science behind the natural gas extraction process.
“Environmental groups’ opposition to this isn’t about sound science; it’s about appeasing their wealthy donors,” Jindal said. “Democratic politicians and liberal interests groups everywhere are fighting this clean and affordable energy revolution. “
And he called out the activist group Artists Against Fracking, founded by Yoko Ono and including Lady Gaga, for “touting fact-free Hollywood celebrity-driven campaigns against a technology that has given us energy security and clean-burning energy while lowering emissions of all types.”
“If they really think that Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga should be setting American energy policy, I am happy to go on record denying that it’s a good idea,” Jindal said.
“The sad truth is that the far-left, with the active cooperation of leading Democrats, is pushing energy austerity, and is holding America hostage to its extremist and unscientific views. They want the government to tell Americans to live in smaller houses, drive smaller cars, set their thermostats higher in the summer and lower in the winter,” he said.
“The fact is that the left isn’t even arguing for the easiest ways we could make dramatic reductions in global carbon emissions. What the extremist left is arguing against is affordable energy.”
He also downplayed the Obama administration’s commitment to renewable energy.
“ The only energy sources they support are the ones that have to be eternally subsidized — a massive transfer payment from one part of the economy to the other, using solar panels and windmill parts made in China and Spain, paid for with American taxpayer dollars. We need alternative energy to be sure, but swapping out one taxpayer’s dollar for another taxpayer’s windmill or solar panel is not growth.”
“Governors and local leaders understand that tapping into our abundant energy produces prosperity, creates jobs, and gives Americans more choices. We need Washington, D.C. to get out of the way,” he concluded. “Let’s develop and grow our energy economy through efficiency and innovation, not austerity.”
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