Thank you for joining me today. I want to say a special thanks to Jim Garraux and the men and women of US Steel for having us here today. It is great to be on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, a city built on the work, hopes and dreams of blue-collar American workers.
The central issue facing Americans is a lack of jobs.
Fourteen million Americans are without work. One in six Americans cannot find a full-time job. Forty-five million Americans are on food stamps. And 48 percent of American households have at least one resident receiving government benefits.
Though our president has labeled Americans as soft, I believe our people have toughed it out the best they can. But they are looking for leadership and optimism, which are all too rare in Washington today.
What I am proposing today is the first part of an economic growth package that will rebuild the engine of American prosperity.
The plan I present this morning, Energizing American Jobs and Security, will kick-start economic growth and create 1.2 million jobs.
It can be implemented quicker and free of Washington gridlock because it doesn't require congressional action. Through a series of executive orders, and other executive actions, we will begin the process of creating jobs soon after the inauguration of a new president.
There is, of course, an important role for Congress to play. And in a matter of days I will offer to the American people a broader package of economic reforms that I will take to Congress when I am elected President. My complete economic growth package will tackle tax reform, entitlement reform and real spending reductions in order to address our growing debt crisis.
But today I offer a plan that will create more than a million good, American jobs across every sector of the economy and enhance our national security, and the best news is it can be set in motion in my first 100 days.
My plan is based on this simple premise: Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world.
We are standing atop the next American economic boom...energy.
The quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy. But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down.
My plan will break the grip of dependence we have today on foreign oil from hostile nations like Venezuela and unstable nations in the Middle East to grow jobs and our economy at home.
America has proven but untapped supplies of natural gas, oil and coal. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal with 25 percent of the world's supply. Our country contains up to 134 billion barrels of oil and nearly 1.2 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas.
We have the resources we need to fuel our cars, our homes and our power plants. They can be found in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Alabama, Kentucky throughout the American West and, of course, Alaska.
But President Obama and his over-reaching Environmental Protection Agency won't allow American businesses and American labor to draw on even a fraction of this domestic energy from reserves on government-owned lands.
On one hand, the Obama Administration opposes fossil fuel development at home, and then on the other hand encourages countries like Brazil to drill offshore and sell it to American consumers, creating foreign jobs and foreign profits
That's wrong. That's hypocritical. That's unfair. America should not be, and when I am president will not be, held hostage by foreign oil and federal bureaucrats.
The American economy should not be beaten into the ground when greater energy independence and lower energy costs lie right under American soil.
My plan will create jobs in every sector, revitalize manufacturing, and contain the cost of electricity and fuel through four concrete actions.
First, we will open several American oil and gas fields for exploration that are currently off limits because of political considerations. The current administration has restricted exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and the mid-Atlantic.
In the Gulf of Mexico, the median time for review of permits for combined deepwater exploration and development has increased 400 percent, while deepwater exploration and development plan approvals have dropped by nearly 80 percent.
The Department of Interior has stopped off-shore exploration off the coast of Virginia over the objections of the Virginia congressional delegation, which has passed a bill in the House to achieve the will of their people. That bill is also supported by their Democratic senators, Webb and Warner.
With a series of executive orders and other executive actions, I will authorize the following:
I will work to open up Alaska's abundant resources to oil and gas exploration, including the ANWR Coastal Plain and the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska. In this one instance, we will need congressional authorization. But it is worth it when you consider we will create 120,000 jobs.
We will initiate off-shore exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off the northern and western coasts of Alaska. This will create 55,000 jobs.
We will resume pre-Obama levels of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and create another 230,000 jobs.
I will support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to take Canadian Crude to coastal refineries, which would create 20,000 direct jobs for American workers.
We will begin tapping the energy potential of the American West, opening up federal and private lands for exploration in states like Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado and Utah. Collectively, our western states have the potential to produce 1.3 million barrels of oil per day by 2020 and contain 87 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
They can produce more energy than what we import from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela and Russia combined!
And right here in Pennsylvania, and across the state line in West Virginia and Ohio, we will tap the full potential of the Marcellus Shale and create another 250, 000 jobs by getting the EPA out of the way. While Marcellus shale is today's opportunity, the deeper Utica shale formations offer equally vast potential with more jobs over the horizon for Pennsylvania and its neighbors.
The benefits of the boom in American natural gas production are also demonstrated in manufacturing and production. We see that right here at U.S. Steel's Mon Valley Works Plant that employs more than three thousand workers, many of whom make the steel products other companies use to develop the Marcellus Shale today.
The face of manufacturing in industrial states has changed rapidly. Natural gas exploration is a game-changer that can bring new opportunities to replace the ones that have been lost. Development of natural gas will create jobs in the supply chain and lead to lower energy costs for manufacturers.
Western Pennsylvania is known for producing great quarterbacks I want Western Pennsylvania to Quarterback a new energy revolution that creates jobs all across America.
Not only will we create jobs by expanding energy exploration, we will use the revenues generated to pay down the deficit.
At the same time, where America has ecological treasures, like the Everglades or Yellowstone National Park, we will not explore for energy.
As we roll back federal control, we seek greater cooperation with the states. And if states oppose energy exploration, we will respect that decision. But these instances represent the exception, not the rule.
It is equally important that we take a second step: eliminate activist regulations already on the books and under consideration by the Obama Administration.
While President Obama has been very public about his newest jobs proposal, behind the scenes the permanent bureaucracy is working to grind the economy to a halt in pursuit of activist regulations. A raft of new rules and foot-dragging by the EPA and Interior Department are killing job creation.
Examples include the Utility Maximum Available Control Technology rule, the Boiler MACT rule, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, the proposed Coal Combustion Residuals regulation and Section 316 (b) of the Clean Water Act.
These new rules alone could destroy up to 2.4 million American jobs by 2020 and add $127 billion in costs to electric providers and consumers. Under my plan, each of these rules would be subject to an immediate review with a cost-benefit analysis to determine the impact on American employers and the environment.
If we face the facts, we know that none of these rules were needed to reduce emissions of the six principal pollutants by 50 percent since 1980. And they are not needed now, especially as our economy hangs in a fragile balance between recovery and recession.
I will take another step important to economic growth: I will stop the EPA's draconian measures related to the regulation of greenhouse gases.
When you consider that any carbon reduction will be offset by the increase of carbon emissions by developing nations like China and India, the EPA would tie our economy in knots and advantage our global competitors while realizing no global environmental benefits in the process.
The third part of my plan is to reform the bureaucracy, in particular the EPA, so that it focuses on regional and cross-state issues, providing scientific research, as well as environmental analysis and cost-comparison studies to support state environmental organizations. We will return greater regulatory authority to the states to manage air and water quality rather than imposing one-size-fits-all federal rules.
I reject the notion that Washington is more committed to environmental stewardship than state and local officials who must live with the consequences of their own environmental policies.
The fourth component of my plan is to level the competitive playing field among all energy producers.
As the governor of the nation's leading producer of wind energy, I clearly believe there is an important role for green sources of energy as a part of our generation mix. The fact is, every energy producer receives incentives and subsidies that cost taxpayers and distort the marketplace.
My plan will stop the practice of Washington writing subsidy checks to any and all sectors of the energy industry. It will also stop industry-specific tax credits, phasing out both over a period of time, allowing the market time to adjust.
We will, however, preserve tax incentives for research and development.
We believe the best way to invest in emerging technology is to allow private industry the freedom to develop it. The shocking reality concerning Obama energy policy is high energy prices are not an accident, but intentional.
From an energy secretary who said he wanted European prices for fuel, to a president who said it was necessary to raise the price of electricity, this Administration has intentionally sought to make conventional generation from coal and natural gas more costly, taking more out of the pockets of American families.
And the reason why is they want to drive consumers to green energy. But we don't produce enough green energy to fill the void, so the result is greater reliance on foreign sources of energy.
Increasing the use of green energy is a laudable goal. We have done it successfully in my state. But we have used renewable sources to expand the energy supply not replace conventional generation.
Natural gas and coal are responsible for roughly two-thirds of the electricity generated in this country. How can we have stable and affordable electricity when federal agencies target America's top two fuel generation sources for electricity?
Hostility to coal is not confined to this Administration, it has wrongly been targeted by some members of my own party. I take a different view: I welcome the continued development of coal as an important part of job creation in America. Allowing industry to invest in research and development is the best way to pursue clean coal technology.
I do not accept the false choice that we must pick between energy and the environment. It is time for a balanced, pro-American, pro-jobs energy policy.
Technologies in place today, and under development, can ensure cleaner development of conventional sources.
The EPA's war on American fossil fuel production comes despite the fact they can't point to a single incident of unsafe hydraulic fracturing of natural gas. If they have their way in shutting down gas and coal production, the Obama legacy will be more than 2.4 million energy jobs lost in oil, gas and coal.
The choice this election is between two very different visions for our country.
When it comes to energy, the President would kill domestic jobs through aggressive regulations, while I would create 1.2 million American jobs through safe and aggressive energy exploration at home.
President Obama would keep us more dependent on hostile sources of foreign energy, while my plan would make us more secure by tapping America's true energy potential.
His energy policies are driven by the concerns of activists in his party, my policies are driven by the concerns of American workers without jobs.
We must get America working again. A big part of the solution is under our feet and off our coast.
It can be done without being mired in Washington gridlock, because a president has all the authority he needs to rollback intrusive regulations, create energy jobs, and make our nation more secure.
Creating jobs in America is as simple as changing presidents. That is the choice facing Americans.
America needs jobs. America needs energy. America needs a "made in America" energy revolution.
I have the long-time experience and track record of success in this critical area for American jobs and economic growth to create a new wave of American independence — energy independence.
End the over-regulation. End the excess litigation. End the bureaucratic intimidation. Let's get back to what works to get America working again.
Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world.