February 28, 2018
“You certainly shouldn’t put America in a position of being dependent on Russia or others to heat our homes and power our economy. We should all support responsible energy infrastructure development – so American communities can run on American energy.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor on the need to modernize our energy infrastructure.
Barrasso also highlighted recent reports of how communities in the northeast had to resort to importing liquefied natural gas from Russia because of a lack of natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the United States.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I would like to speak today about energy infrastructure.
“President Trump has shown that he intends to be a champion for upgrading our country’s aging highways, bridges, and water infrastructure.
“As chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I’ll be working with President Trump to modernize our infrastructure.
“This includes working to upgrade America’s energy infrastructure – things like electric transmission lines and natural gas pipelines.
“These facilities need to be repaired and modernized – and we need to build new facilities as well.
“Often these investments can be made without any taxpayer funding.
“People get the benefit of new jobs, economic growth, and the affordable and reliable energy that these projects supply.
“It’s good for everybody, including taxpayers.
“We just need to make sure that the government doesn’t get in the way.
“There was an important reminder recently of the need for energy infrastructure development.
“It was the blast of cold weather and heavy snow that hit the northeast part of the country earlier this year.
“Normally, natural gas accounts for about 48 percent of the power generated in New England. During this big winter storm in January, gas accounted for only 16 percent.
“That’s because there aren’t enough natural gas pipelines in the region to deliver all of the gas that they needed for heating and for power.
“This shouldn’t happen in America – we’re the number one natural gas producer in the world.
“To meet the demand in New England, power plants and utilities have had to take the drastic step of importing liquefied natural gas from Russia. Can you imagine such a thing?
“This is a tanker that carried gas from a Russian company called Yamal LNG, liquefied natural gas.
“The gas came from a facility in Siberia – and they were taking it right into the Boston Harbor last month.
“You might think that local leaders in the region would want to avoid importing gas from our adversaries like Russia.
“You might think they would want more American pipelines to power our communities.
“That’s not what’s happening in the northeast part of our country.
“Instead, leaders in that region have been vocal opponents of new pipelines. They block the pipelines.
“People who have been vocal opponents of new pipelines includes some of the Democrats who represent that part of the country right here in the United States Senate.
“They refuse to allow responsible and safe energy development – to give people in the northeast the natural gas that families and businesses need.
“These Democrats claim that they’re protecting the environment. It’s simply not true.
“There was a headline in the Boston Globe, this was a couple of weeks ago. The headline was: ‘Our Russian pipeline, and its ugly toll.’
“This article pointed out that Russia actually has much lower standards than the United States when it comes to protecting the environment.
“Democrats are just playing the old game of Not In My Backyard.
“We see the same thing so often when it comes to energy infrastructure projects.
“We should be looking for ways to make energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising costs on American families.
“When it comes to actually producing that energy, Democrats put up roadblocks to keep it from happening.
“If we’re going to rebuild America’s infrastructure, we need to streamline the process, and we need to start cutting the red tape.
“We need to build faster, better, cheaper, and smarter.
“It’s true of roads and bridges – and it’s true for our energy infrastructure.
“This article in the Boston Globe called on leaders in the northeast to stop prioritizing short-term political gains at the expense of energy security and the environment.
“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to do the same.
“We should be talking about not just energy security and energy independence, but not being dependent on foreign sources of energy—on energy from our enemies—but focus on American energy, American jobs.
“You certainly shouldn’t put America in a position of being dependent on Russia or others to heat our homes and power our economy.
“We should all support responsible energy infrastructure development – so American communities can run on American energy.”