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Newt Gingrich on Energy & Oil

Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House


Obama favors far-left interests at expense of energy jobs

So much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn't create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support Obama and the Democratic Party. No better example of this exists than in the crisis of American energy. President Obama and his political allies--not of few of whom love living in energy inefficient houses or driving gas-guzzling luxury vehicles--openly admit they want gas prices to remain high so that the rest of America will learn to live more modestly. They think it's good for the rest of us. Only recently, the president canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have created countless new jobs and helped America on the way to energy independence because he wanted to appease the far left of his party. And yet not a single word on the Keystone XL pipeline tonight.
Source: Response to 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

1989: prevent global warming; 2012: unclear if warming real

Gingrich said it's unclear whether man-made global warming is real. "I believe we don't know," he told Fox News' Sean Hannity in an interview.

In 2008 Gingrich appeared in an ad with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging action on climate change. "Our country must take action to address climate change," he said in 2008. Gingrich recently said that the ad was "the dumbest thing I've done in recent years."

Earlier in his career, Gingrich co-sponsored a 1989 bill stating that climate change was "resulting from human activities."

    Findings in the Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989 (HR.1078): The Congress finds that:
  1. the Earth's atmosphere is being changed at an unprecedented rate by pollutants resulting from human activities
  2. global warming will accelerate the present sea level rise and thereby threaten to inundate low-lying coastal lands
  3. global warming imperils human health and well-being
  4. global warming will jeopardize prospects for sustainable development.
Source: Huffington Post, "Global Warming" , Dec 1, 2011

Put nuclear waste in deep storage for 10,000 years

Q: Do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?

GINGRICH: I think that it has to be looked at scientifically. We have to find a safe method of taking care of nuclear waste. Today, because it's been caught up in a political fight, we have small units of nuclear waste all over this country in a way that is vastly more dangerous than finding a method of keeping it in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 & 30,000 years of geological safety.

Q: Is Yucca Mountain that place?

GINGRICH: I'm not a scientist. I mean, Yucca Mountain certainly was picked by the scientific community as one of the safest places in the US.

Q: You were for opening it in Congress, right?

GINGRICH: When I was in Congress, I worked with the Nevada delegation to make sure that there was time for scientific studies. But we have to find some method of finding a very geologically stable place, and most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is that.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

Every green tax credit is a tax loophole

Q: The oil companies got government handouts in the form of tax breaks, tax exemptions, loopholes. Is that fair?

A: Every green tax credit is a loophole. Why did we get to breaks for ethanol, breaks for oil and gas, etc.? We have a simple choice. We can depend on Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, or we can encourage development of oil and gas in the US. I'm for an energy-independent America, and that means I favor people who create energy.

Q: If you eliminate some of those loopholes, whether for ExxonMobil or some other companies, there are those who argue that is, in effect, a tax increase and it would violate a pledge that so many Republicans have made not to raise taxes.

A: Yes, a lot of people argue that. They're technically right. Look, I'm cheerfully opposed to raising taxes. We have a problem of overspending. We don't have a problem of undertaxing. I want to shrink government to fit income, not raise income to try to catch up with government.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

FactCheck: US has 110-year supply of gas, not 1,100 years

Gingrich vastly overstated the US natural gas supply: [Gingrich, Feb. 10]: "We now have technology that lets us go down as far as 8,000 feet, reach out as far as four miles horizontally. We can now produce commercially available natural gas from shale. We have an 1,100-year supply."

Shale gas is a form of natural gas. It's true that new drilling and fracturing techniques have made it possible to tap into shale resources that were previously considered not to be economically viable. As of 2009, shale gas made up 14% of the US natural gas supply. But the U.S. isn't currently sitting on a 1,100 year supply of shale gas--or natural gas in general, if that was Gingrich's meaning. The country's supply is actually about 10 times smaller than that: The US possesses 2,552 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of potential natural gas resources, enough to supply approximately 110 years of use. Natural gas from shale resources accounts for 827 Tcf of this resource estimate.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2011 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 15, 2011

2008 petition drive: Drill here, Drill now, Pay less

For the last thirty years we've had the worst possible national security policy in energy and it's time we've stopped it, and it's time we've passed an aggressively pro-American jobs, aggressively pro-American energy.

In 2008 when gasoline was at $4 a gallon, [my policy organization] American Solutions launched a petition drive: Drill here, Drill now, Pay less.

The Left couldn't survive in a world where we had the courage to say, "Why don't we find American oil and why don't we find American gas, and why don't we have the next building boom in the United States, not in Dubai. And why don't we make sure that the terrorists run out of money?" And that ought to be our approach to this, so let's do it now.

First of all: Reopen off of Louisiana. The people of Louisiana want it to happen. So let's reopen the areas off only those states that want to reopen them, but if a state wants to go and find oil and gas and wants to create more jobs in that state, let's let them do it now.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

New nuclear plants would reduce 2 billion tons of CO2 a year

I always say to my environmental friends, "If you really wanted to get carbon out of the atmosphere and if we produced as much electricity from nuclear power as France, you would take 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year out of the atmosphere." And they'd say "Well, that's not the right solution." Because there's never a right solution if it's a solution because then our economy would grow, free enterprise would work, and that would be wrong.

There are two things about nuclear power. One, we should dramatically go through and streamline the regulatory process for the big plants, but two, there's a whole new generation of very small nuclear power plants, that are very, very safe, that should not come under the certain kind of regulatory design for a huge, giant multi-million dollar plant. And we could go to a much more effective nuclear power, very fast and have a very big job creation technology.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

Doomsday climate theory pushes massive wealth transfer

A global, left-wing environmental movement organized around a doomsday theory of climate change is pushing for a massive wealth transfer for the West to developing nations, and an enormous increase in bureaucratic control but governments. Meanwhile, UN-designated experts and an alliance of global bureaucrats are lobbying for treaties to enforce international climate change regulations within a system of global taxation. This entire "solution" is a kind of class warfare applied to nation states.

With our historical emphasis on free enterprise and national sovereignty, Americans have resisted these extreme measures. But we believe genuine environmental problems, many of them ignored due to the global warming obsessions, cannot be resolved without U.S. leadership.

Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p.235-236 , May 17, 2010

2008 book: Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

In 2008, American Solutions launched an online petition drive to demand Congress lift the 25-year-old moratorium on new offshore drilling. We collected 1.5 million signatures. Our effort sparked a nationwide grassroots rebellion that resulted in Congress allowing the moratorium to expire.

I wrote a book in fall 2008 called "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less," describing America's vast energy potential and explain how misguided government policies have prevented us from becoming an energy powerhouse.

Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p.205-206 , Dec 18, 2007

Billion-dollar prize for first mass-produced hydrogen car

The America that works focuses on inventing a better future and knows that customers will rapidly switch to a better solution. The same will be true for a new energy strategy. We need very large prizes for fundamental breakthroughs. There ought to be a billion-dollar tax-free prize for the first hydrogen car that can be mass-produced for a reasonable price. Hydrogen has to be the ultimate basis for a truly bold energy program because it has no environmental impact and it is universally available as a natural resource. Therefore it would have huge appeal to China and India if it were commercially competitive in price. American technologies for hydrogen vehicles might be one of the biggest economic winners of the next generation.

There should be a substantial tax break for investing in both ethanol and hydrogen supply stations and hydrogen pipelines so the fuel can be delivered when the automobiles are available at a reasonable cost.

Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p.203 , Dec 18, 2007

Kyoto treaty is bad for the environment and bad for America

Kyoto is a bad treaty. It is bad for the environment and it is bad for America. It sets standards that will require massive investments by the US but virtually no investments by other countries. The Senate was right when it voted unanimously against the treaty. We should insist on revisiting the entire Kyoto process and resolutely reject efforts to force us into an anti-American, environmentally failed treaty.

The US should support substantial research into climate science, managing the response to climate change, & in developing new non-carbon energy systems. It is astounding to watch people blithely propose trillions of dollars in spending on a topic on which we have failed to spend modest amounts to better understand.

It is astounding to have people focus myopically on carbon as the sole source of climate change. The world’s climate has changed in the past with sudden speed and dramatic impact. Global warming may happen. On the other hand it is possible Europe will experience another ice age.

Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org , Dec 1, 2006

Focus on incentives for conservation & renewable resources

A sound American energy policy would focus on four areas: basic research to create a new energy system that has few environmental side effects, incentives for conservation, more renewable resources, and environmentally sound development of fossil fuels. The Bush administration has approached energy environmentalism the right way, including using public-private partnerships that balance economic costs and environmental gain.

Hydrogen has the potential to provide energy that has no environmental downside. Conservation is the second great opportunity in energy. A tax credit to subsidize energy efficient cars (including a tax credit for turning in old and heavily polluting cars) is another idea we should support. Renewable resources are gradually evolving to meet their potential: from wind generator farms to solar power to biomass conversion. Continued tax credits and other advantages for renewable resources are a must.

Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org , Dec 1, 2006

Stop scare tactics about drilling in Alaska

It is time for an honest debate about drilling and producing in places like Alaska, our national forests, and off the coast of scenic areas. The Left uses scare tactics from a different era to block environmentally sound production of raw materials. Three standards should break through this deadlock.
  1. Scientists of impeccable background should help set the standards for sustaining the environment in sensitive areas, and any company entering the areas should be bonded to meet those standards.
  2. The public should be informed about new methods of production that can meet the environmental standards, and any development should be only with those new methods.
  3. A percentage of the revenues from resources generated in environmentally sensitive areas should be dedicated to environmental activities including biodiversity sustainment, land acquisition, and environmental cleanups in places where there are no private resources that can be used to clean up past problems.
Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org , Dec 1, 2006

Gas tax sounds OK in DC, but not outside Beltway

When the Bush Administration tried to convince me that a gasoline tax increase would be okay and would barely be noticed, I tested the theory with two phone calls. First I called my mother-in-law in Leetonia, Ohio, and then I called my older daughter in Greensboro, North Carolina. My mother-in-law is retired, at the time, aged 75. She has a lot of friends who live on limited incomes, and driving happens to be one of their pleasures. She was personally against the idea of a gas tax increase, and she thought the idea would go down very badly with her friends. Then I called my daughter Kathy. She runs a small business, and her husband is the tennis coach at the university. Her reaction was, to put it mildly, scathing. “What planet do they live on?” she asked. She thought such a tax increase was the very antithesis of why people had elected the Republicans. After those two conversations, any doubts I may have had simply vanished, and I opposed the tax increase.
Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p. 29-30 , Jul 2, 1998

Cap-and-trade has no impact on global temperatures.

Gingrich signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 2. Reject Cap & Trade:

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation's global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA02 on Jul 8, 2010

Explore proven energy reserves & keep energy prices low.

Gingrich signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 8. Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy:

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other fo

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA08 on Jul 8, 2010

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Page last updated: May 31, 2012