|00:00:00||YEARS AND WE'VE BEEN DOING THAT BECAUSE OF OUR ABILITY TO DO SO AND BEING ABLE TO GET TO THE PACIFIC ASIAN MARKET.|
|00:00:07||WE'RE OVERALL, THE STATE HERE TO ALL ITS NATURAL RESOURCES, WE ARE A NET POSITIVE IN OUR EXPORT TRADE.|
|00:00:15||WE ACTUALLY HELP LOWER THE TRADE DEFICIT.|
|00:00:18||A VARIETY OF REASONS, OUR FISH, OUR MINERALS, GAS, NATURAL RESOURCES.|
|00:00:22||SO WE ARE A HUGE CONTRIBUTOR TO THIS ECONOMY IN A LOT OF WAYS.|
|00:00:26||SO I THINK -- I'M HOPEFUL.|
|00:00:28||I'VE BEEN HERE ONLY THREE YEARS AND, YOU KNOW, I WAKE UP EVERY DAY BEING HOPEFUL THAT AT SOME POINT WE WILL DEBATE AND HAVE A REAL ENERGY PLAN DISCUSSION.|
|00:00:40||BECAUSE WHEN WE DO THAT, THE NET RESULT IS AMERICANS WIN, CONSUMERS WIN, OUR NATIONAL SECURITY WINS.|
|00:00:48||EVERYTHING WINS IF WE HAVE A GOOD, DEPENDABLE ENERGY POLICY THAT LOOKS NOT ONLY AT TODAY BUT LOOKS ON DOWN THE ROAD.|
|00:00:55||AND I THINK THE -- MY FRIEND FROM LOUISIANA MADE A VERY GOOD POINT ABOUT CONSERVATION, ABOUT THOSE ISSUES.|
|00:01:03||I MEAN WE -- THINK ABOUT THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY.|
|00:01:06||BECAUSE WE CAME TO THEIR RESCUE, AND WE GOT A LOT OF CRITICISM, ALL OF US, THE PRESIDENT INCLUDED, GOT CRITICIZED FOR THIS, WHAT'S THE RESULT?|
|00:01:15||THOSE FOLKS PAID BACK THEIR LOANS, THEY'RE MORE INNOVATIVE THAN EVER BEFORE BUT THEY ALSO ARE PRODUCING MORE FUEL-EFFICIENT CARS WHICH SAVES FUEL AND IT SAVES ON THE LONG TERM OF OUR DEPENDENCY ON FOREIGN PRODUCTS.|
|00:01:30||THAT'S A HUGE WIN.|
|00:01:32||PEOPLE SAY IT'S NOT CONSERVATION, IT'S A BAILOUT.|
|00:01:34||IT'S A COMBO.|
|00:01:37||FOR WHATEVER REASON THE OTHER SIDE DOESN'T SEE THAT.|
|00:01:39||THEY SEE IT AS JUST ANOTHER GOVERNMENT THING.|
|00:01:42||THEY PAID BACK.|
|00:01:43||I CAN'T REMEMBER BUT A PRETTY GOOD INTEREST RATE WE GOT ON THAT MONEY AND THEY PAID IT BACK.|
|00:01:47||NOW THEY'RE MORE INNOVATIVE THAN EVER BEFORE.|
|00:01:51||ONE OF OUR AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY MAKERS TALKED ABOUT NATURAL GAS FUELED VEHICLES THAT THEY WANT TO MOVE FORWARD ON THAT AREA.|
|00:01:58||I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S SUCCESSFUL OR NOT BUT THEY ARE MOVING FORWARD, WHY, BECAUSE THE PRICE IS LOWER, WE HAVE A LOT OF IT AND THEY'RE AN INDUSTRY THAT'S STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE.|
|00:02:09||AS WE SIT HERE AND TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF ENERGY AND HOW WE HAVE TO HAVE -- DEVELOP OUR PLAN AND HAVE A DIVERSIFIED PLAN OF ACTION AND FROM ALL SOURCES AND, YOU KNOW, AS YOU WENT THROUGH THAT LIST OF THE SUBSIDIES, WE DO IT IN EVERY RUSSIAN.|
|00:02:26||BECAUSE WE'RE -- ARENA.|
|00:02:29||BECAUSE WE'RE TRYING TO DEVELOP A DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIO, BUT ALSO IT CREATES OTHER INNOVATION WE SEE.|
|00:02:36||WE KNOW WE CAN'T DEPEND ON ONE TYPE OF FUEL SOURCE BUT ALL OF IT'S PART OF THE MIX.|
|00:02:41||PEOPLE WHO SAY WE CAN'T BE OIL AND GAS, THEY'RE DREAMING.|
|00:02:46||THEY'RE IN ANOTHER WORLD.|
|00:02:47||HAVE TO HAVE A MULTIFACETED APPROACH.|
|00:02:49||THEN WE HAVE TO DO IT AND DELIVER IT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.|
|00:02:54||AND THERE'S A WAY TO DO THIS.|
|00:02:55||AND SO, AGAIN, I STRUGGLE TONIGHT BECAUSE OF THE VOTE I TOOK YESTERDAY, ONE OF FOUR THAT SAID NO, WE'RE NOT MOVING FORWARD BECAUSE I JUST SAW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.|
|00:03:05||BY THIS WEEKEND I'LL BE BACK HOME TALKING TO ALASKANS AND HEARING THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT HIGH ENERGY COSTS IN URBAN AREAS IN SMALL VILLAGES TO URBAN AREAS, ASKING THE QUESTION WHAT ARE WE DOING?|
|00:03:18||I WISH I COULD SAY, HERE'S THE ANSWER, TOMORROW YOUR PRICE GOES DOWN BUT WE DON'T HAVE THAT ANSWER.|
|00:03:24||BECAUSE THREE YEARS I'VE BEEN HERE, YOU'VE BEEN HERE LONGER, WE'VE HAD A 2008 WITH REALLY NO SUBSTANCE OF BEEF OUT THERE.|
|00:03:31||WE'VE HAD STUFF ON THE TABLE THEY KNOW THE OTHER SIDE WILL VOTE AGAINST, THE OTHER SIDE VOTES AGAINST IT, INSTEAD OF HAVING MEANINGFUL, REAL COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY.|
|00:03:42||WE HAVE BILLS, A LITTLE TAX INCREASE HERE AND THERE, BUT NOT ABOUT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO.|
|00:03:49||SO 20 YEARS FROM NOW, ALL OF US, MY COLLEAGUE FROM LOUISIANA AND COLORADO CAN LOOK TO OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS AND SAY WE DID THE RIGHT THING BECAUSE WE STRONGER BECAUSE WE DIVERSIFIED OUR ENERGY RESOURCES.|
|00:04:02||TH -- THAT TO ME IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE THAT WE'LL NOT GET TO IN THAT DEBATE.|
|00:04:07||WE'RE IN OUR OWN DEBATE BECAUSE WE'RE A GROUP OF FOUR, TWO OF THEM OUT TONIGHT.|
|00:04:11||THE REST ARE IN A DIFFERENT DEBATE.|
|00:04:15||MS. LANDRIEU: WELL, YES, AND I WANT TO JUST RE-EMPHASIZE, TOO, THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS ON ENERGY POLICY.|
Mr. BEGICH. Absolutely. I will tell the Senator we have been exporting for 40 years. We have been doing that because of our ability to do so and being able to get to the Pacific Asian market. Overall, the State here--through all its natural resources, we are a net positive in our export trade. We help lower the trade deficit for a variety of reasons--our fish, minerals, gas, and natural resources. So we are a huge contributor to this economy in a lot of ways.
I have been here only 3 years, and I still wake every day being hopeful. I am hopeful that at some point we will debate and have a real energy plan discussion. When we do that, the net result is that Americans will win, consumers will win, and national security will win. Everything wins if we have a good dependable energy policy that looks not only at today but down the road.
I think my friend from Louisiana made a very good point about conservation, about those issues. Thinking about the automobile industry, we came to their rescue and we got a lot of [Page: S2075] criticism--all of us, the President included--but what is the result? Those folks paid back their loans, and they are more innovative than ever before. But they are also producing more fuel-efficient cars, which saves fuel, and it saves on the long-term dependency on foreign products.
Some people say that is not conservation; that was a bailout. It is a combo. It is multifaceted. For whatever reason, the other side sees that as just another government thing. I cannot remember, but it was a pretty good interest rate we got on that money and they paid it back and now they are being more innovative. Most recently, our automobile industry is building more natural gas fuel vehicles. They want to move forward in that area. I don't know if that will be successful, but they are moving forward because the price is lower. We have a lot of it, and that is an industry that is stronger than ever before.
As we sit talking about the importance of energy and how we have to develop our plan and have a diversified plan of action from all sources, as the Senator went through the list of the subsidies, we do it in every arena. We are trying to create a diversified energy portfolio for economic security, and it also creates innovation. We cannot depend on one type of fuel source. It is all part of it. People who say it can just be oil and gas are in another world. We have to have a multifaceted approach and then we have to do it and deliver it for the benefit of the American people. There is a way to do that.
Again, I struggled tonight because of the vote I took yesterday--one of four--that said we are not moving forward because I saw what was going to happen. By this weekend, I will be home talking to Alaskans and sharing their concerns about high energy costs in small villages and urban areas, and they will be asking the question: What are we doing? I wish I could say here is the answer and the price will go down. For the 3 years I have been here--and the Senator from Louisiana has been here longer--we have had a debate with no real substantive beef. People have put something out on the table, and the other side votes against it, instead of having a meaningful, real comprehensive energy bill. We have tax incentives here and there but not something that says this is what are going to do, so 20 years from now, all of us, including my colleague from Louisiana and my colleague from Colorado, can look at our kids and grandkids and say we did the right thing because we are stronger because we diversified our energy resources.
That is the fundamental issue we will not get to. We are in our own debate because we are a group of four. Two of them are out tonight. The rest are in a different debate.