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June 15, 2015, photo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Republican presidential hopeful Bush sets domestic energy as priority

Lifting government restrictions on oil and natural gas exports, and building the Keystone XL pipeline are essential to domestic production and affordable consumer energy prices, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told the Tribune-Review.

Bush on Tuesday is scheduled to lay out his energy policy during a visit to the Cecil offices of Rice Energy, which produces natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

“The energy sector is extraordinarily important for high growth and high income, for all Americans,” Bush said, citing studies showing that 40 percent of economic growth in the country since 2008 can be attributed to that sector.

He told the Trib that he long has advocated less government intervention in exporting oil and gas. Bush would enable more gas exports to non-Free Trade Agreement allies, particularly in Eastern Europe, which sometimes exclusively depend on Russia to meet their energy demands.

That would help reduce the nation’s trade deficit, he said, and would not lead to a significant price increase domestically, according to a Department of Energy-commissioned study.

His energy plan is geared toward helping American families, Bush said. Building the pipeline, reducing regulation and giving more deference to states that want to drill will assist “domestic energy production and create jobs, increase wages, make gas and electricity cheaper, and help us achieve and sustain 4-percent economic growth,” he said.

In related news, GOP members split from party, ready to tackle climate change.

The energy industry has a multiplier effect because most equipment used to extract and deliver gas and oil in the United States is American-made, he said. “So it is a hugely important sector and in spite of the (production) revolution that we are seeing, the Obama administration has done everything that it can to make it harder,” he said.

Approval of the pipeline is essential, Bush said, as is systematic reduction of regulations, “whether it is the Bureau of Land Management, standards for hydraulic fracturing, methane rules that the (Environmental Protection Agency) creates that create real uncertainty,” he said. He cited the slow process of leasing federal land and waters, and the EPA’s carbon rule that “will create significantly higher costs.”

“Even though we have had a decline in oil production in the last few months because of price, if we are serious about a national energy policy, we could be energy secure in relatively short order with North American resources,” he said.

States that want to develop or expand energy production, such as Alaska and Virginia, “should be given much more deference than they are today,” Bush said.

President Obama and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton don’t see the industry as an economic driver, Bush said, but “as some sort of environmental socialist agenda.”

His energy plan goes hand in hand with a proposal to reduce taxes by $3.4 trillion during the next decade and his pledge for 4 percent economic growth, Bush said.

“There is great frustration and anger that the system is not working for anybody,” he said.

Voters ultimately look for “which candidate has their heart, cares and understands their plight, and who has the ideas to lift them up,” he said. “… Every presidential race is different, but as you get closer to decision day, that is what is going to matter.”

Salena Zito is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

This article was written by Salena Zito from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

11 comments

  1. So he can tax our high incomes to blow on his entitlements and increased spending.

  2. Too late Jeb, you’re finished. Bring on Trump or Carson.

  3. The man is an idiot– the K-XL would be a Canada pipeline beginning in Alberta carry Canadian tar crude, run to an export refinery/ dock in Texas for export to Asia– Jobs temporary- once finished and buried none.
    Canada is the largest supplier of crude to the US and hs no other ustomer tht they can deliver to. Becuse of that it is discount far below global pricing.. And when Canada can export to another country the discounting is over
    And when the US export ban is lifed Canada’s exporting through the K-XL would be in direct competition

    • So you support the Venezuelan oil in the Gulf refineries instead of Canadian? Refineries need to offset this light crude. So it’s going to be one or the other. At least Canada is our friend.

    • Andrew – Canada is the largest supplier of imported crude to the US -has been for over a decade. AND has never had a problem making delivery with the exsting pipeline system.
      Production for the K-XL would be in addition to Canada’s present production and solely for export — Canada’s present production is limited to their domestic use and what the US imports and without exporting outside the US can not expand
      Suggest you read again my first comment.

    • Dead wrong, Thad. Canada can increase production once prices are high enough to justify new drilling of conventional crude and new mining of oil sands. Increased Canadian production will be eagerly purchased by US refinieries because they have spent billions to modify to process heavy crudes. K-XL North is not needed for Canada to export from Texas ports today. There’s no significant demand for Canadian crude beyond the US. If K-XL North is ever built it will be to supply US refineries only.

    • Canadian crude is not discounted because they cannot export from Texas ports – they can. It’s discounted because it’s heavier than WTI. All crudes heavier than WTI are priced less than WTI.

    • One tanker out of Texas City in how many years is not exporting– That is why the Canadian are crying for the K-XL
      Canada is not having any problem delivering to US refineries through the existing pipeline system– over 50% of oil in US storage is import from Canada

    • Wrong, Thad. TransCanada is no longer pushing to build X-L North. Canadian production is not currently growing, so the need is for the future not today. If foreign refiners wanted Canadian crude, it would be easy to load tankers from Freeport or Nederland. It’s already been done several times, there’s just no significant foreign demand. 99% of Canadian crude is refined in Canada and US where the investment has been made.

  4. Our domestic energy policy is to export export export, interesting