|Latta: Energy efforts drained by regs|
|Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor|
|Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:31|
Over-regulation has sent much of the oil industry overseas where governments are more accommodating, according to three Republican congressmen who held a press conference in Bowling Green Wednesday afternoon.
The congressmen stood on the site of the old oil derrick at the Wood County Historical Center as they criticized President Barack Obama's administration for regulations that are killing jobs, increasing the costs of energy, and putting up roadblocks to oil drilling in the U.S.
"Regulations cost businesses," Congressman Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, said, blaming changing EPA mandates for driving up costs.
"Businesses need to know what their costs will be," Latta said. That uncertainty costs jobs, he said. "It's gonna kill us."
Latta was flanked by fellow GOP congressmen Bill Johnson, from eastern Ohio, and Tim Walberg, from southeastern Michigan.
Latta said America needs to become more self-supporting, citing the statistic that the U.S. currently imports 46 percent of its oil. And Johnson said oil drilling on federal lands has decreased by 11 percent.
When asked about reports that America is exporting more oil than ever before, Johnson said that is only natural.
"Companies are going to try to make a profit," he said.
Latta criticized delays in the Keystone Pipeline.
"If we are going to buy oil, let's buy oil from our friends, and that's Canada," Latta said.
Johnson spoke of the oil and gas surge in his area of eastern Ohio. "Energy production is the next frontier for America," he said.
When asked if that "frontier" included renewable energy, the congressmen agreed that alternative energies have a place but only if applied with "common sense" rules.
Johnson said America needs to "be smart about it" and realize the present limitations for renewable energy.
"I think fossil fuels will be here for a long time," he said.
And Walberg said it is wrong for federal regulations to require companies to use renewable energy.
"Let's not force industry to use a particular source," Walberg said.
Such regulations lead to higher energy costs for citizens, the congressmen said.
"It's the hard working American people who get lost in the shuffle on this deal," Johnson said.
And inflated energy costs often lead companies to look elsewhere to locate, according to Latta. "Those jobs are going to go someplace else."
Johnson criticized Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for having "the nerve" to visit Ohio and talk about the resurgence of manufacturing - all while not providing affordable energy for industry.
Though Walberg credited past environmental regulations for ensuring clear skies and clean water, the three congressmen criticized current rules as going too far. When asked about concerns about contamination to water sources from hydraulic fracturing, Johnson defended the controversial method.
"It always befuddles me," he said. His area of the state has been the site of hydraulic fracturing for more than 60 years, and during that time there has not been a single instance of contamination, Johnson said.
"It's a fear tactic," he said.
Walberg agreed, saying the health of the Great Lakes proves that hydraulic fracturing is safe.
"It's all rumor and innuendo," with no quantifiable evidence of environmental risk, he said.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:45|
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