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Setting the Record Straight: Rep. Pelosi Downplays Progress In Iraq

December 07, 2005

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Tries To Talk Down Progress In Iraq. "In his speech today, President Bush offered anecdotes about economic progress in Iraq; he neglected to point out that oil production is flat, that the generation of electricity is below pre-invasion levels in many areas, and that unemployment is estimated to be 40 percent or more. Those facts produce frustration that only aids the insurgency. The reconstruction effort in Iraq has faltered in large part because the President's policies have not made Iraq secure." (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Press Release, 12/7/05)

But Progress Has Been Made On All The Issues Rep. Pelosi Mentioned.

Oil Production Has Increased Since 2003. "Oil production increased from an average of 1.58 million barrels per day in 2003, to an average of 2.25 million barrels per day in 2004." ("National Strategy For Victory In Iraq," The White House, 11/30/05)

American-Funded Projects "Have Added Or Restored Over 2,700 Megawatts To The National Grid." IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE DIRECTOR DAN SPECKHARD: "We have focused heavily on repairs to the electricity infrastructure, which was left extremely fragile after decades of neglect under the previous regime. Roughly half of the current generation today is the result of U.S.-funded projects. Over 220 projects are either complete or in progress and have added or restored over 2,700 megawatts to the national grid." (Department Of Defense, Press Briefing, Baghdad, Iraq, 11/14/05)

  • The Rapid Contracting Initiative Is Working With Local Iraqi Firms To Complete Power Projects Quickly. "Under the Rapid Contracting Initiative (RCI), the US Project and Contracting Office (PCO) Electricity Sector has awarded nearly 200 of a total of 250 projects. To date, close to 60 projects have been completed. RCI focuses on direct contracting of smaller projects such as 11 to 33 kilovolt substations, laying of power cables, installation of power poles and running of overhead power lines. Benefits of this program include reduced security costs, enhanced Iraqi project ownership, increased Iraqi employment, contracting opportunities for local firms and quicker completion time of projects." ("Iraq Weekly Status Report," Department Of State, 11/16/05)

Entrepreneurial Activity In Iraq Is Leading To Lower Unemployment Rates. "Considering the increase in entrepreneurial activity after the end of the war, we have for the purposes of this database assumed that there has been an improvement in unemployment levels, and hence weighted information supporting such a conclusion heavier than contradictory data reports." ("Iraq Index," The Brookings Institution, 12/5/05)

  • Since April 2003, 30,000 New Businesses Have Started In Iraq. "Since April 2003, Iraq has registered more than 30,000 new businesses, and its stock market (established in April 2004) currently lists nearly 90 companies with an average daily trading volume over $100 million (from January to May 2005), up from an average of $86 million in 2004." ("National Strategy For Victory In Iraq," The White House, 11/30/05)

George W. Bush, Setting the Record Straight: Rep. Pelosi Downplays Progress In Iraq Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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