|00:00:00||SMART AND STRATEGIC.|
|00:00:02||THAT'S WHAT WE'RE SAYING.|
|00:00:03||NO ONE IS SAYING EITHER OR, IT HAS TO BE THIS OR THAT.|
|00:00:08||IT'S A COMBINATION OF THINGS.|
|00:00:10||SOME WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE TODAY BUT MAYBE LESS LATER.|
|00:00:12||I MEAN, THINK ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY AROUND THE CELL PHONE, THE FIRST TIME THEY CAME OUT WHICH USED TO BE A BOX ABOUT YEA BIG.|
|00:00:22||YOU PLUG INTO YOUR CAR.|
|00:00:23||THEN THE BIG RECEIVER WOULD BE IN YOUR TRUNK.|
|00:00:26||SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS TO BUY THAT TECHNOLOGY, IF YOU REMEMBER THAT?|
|00:00:29||AND PEOPLE WERE LIKE NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO DO THAT.|
|00:00:32||NOW YOU CAN GO DOWN TO THE 7-ELEVEN OR IN MY STATE IT WOULD BE THE HOLIDAY STORE AND BUY THROWAWAY PHONES.|
|00:00:39||IT'S AMAZING WHEN YOU ALLOW SOME EXPANSION OF THIS KNOWLEDGE AND THE TECHNOLOGY.|
|00:00:45||OIL AND GAS BRINGS NEW TECHNOLOGY.|
|00:00:47||YOU MENTIONED DIRECTIONAL DRILLING AS AN EXAMPLE.|
|00:00:49||NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED IN OUR STATE AND YOUR STATE.|
|00:00:52||TO NOW CREATE OPPORTUNITIES THAT SHELL GAS IS NOW DOING.|
|00:00:55||ALL KINDS OF OPPORTUNITIES.|
|00:00:57||WHEN YOU THINK OF THE SECURITY LEVEL, I KNOW THE PRESIDENT HERE HAS BEEN -- THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO, IN THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE WITH ME, WE TALK ABOUT THIS ALL THE TIME.|
|00:01:10||HOW DO WE GET THE BIGGEST CONSUMER, THE MILITARY, TO FIND NEW ALTERNATIVES?|
|00:01:15||AND THEY ARE EXPERIMENTING.|
|00:01:16||BUT YOU KNOW WHAT IS AMAZING?|
|00:01:18||WE HEARD IT LAST WEEK AND THE WEEK BEFORE.|
|00:01:20||OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE ARE WONDERING WHY THE MILITARY IS LOOKING AT ALTERNATIVE FUELS.|
|00:01:26||THEY ACTUALLY ASK WHAT GIVES YOU THE AUTHORITY TO DO THAT?|
|00:01:29||WELL, ACTUALLY, WHEN IT COSTS YOU ALMOST $400 A GALLON TO MOVE DIESEL FUEL TO THE FRONT LINES OF AFGHANISTAN, I THINK THAT'S A HELL OF A GOOD REASON.|
|00:01:38||THEY SHOULD BE LOOKING AT WHAT KINDS OF ALTERNATIVES THEY CAN DO.|
|00:01:41||I HAVE SEEN WHAT THEY'RE DOING.|
|00:01:42||THEY ARE DOING SOME AMAZING THINGS WITH SOLAR PANELS IN SMALL DEVICES, WHICH WHAT'S IMPORTANT ABOUT THE MILITARY?|
|00:01:50||THAT MEANS THEY CAN MOVE MORE RAPIDLY THROUGH AREAS THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHERE'S THE DIESEL TRUCK FOR THE ENERGY.|
|00:01:57||BUT FOR RURAL ALASKA, WHY IS THAT TECHNOLOGY IMPORTANT?|
|00:02:00||IN OUR RURAL VILLAGES WHERE IT'S $10 AND $11 A GALLON FOR HEATING FUEL, NOW THERE IS TECHNOLOGY, INSTEAD OF TAKING UP A WHOLE ROOM, IT'S PORTABLE AND THEY CAN MOVE IT, THEY CAN USE IT.|
|00:02:14||SAVING CONSUMERS. SO THERE IS ALL KINDS OF THINGS THAT WE SHOULD BE DOING.|
|00:02:17||AND I KNOW THE OTHER SIDE WILL SAY WELL, THOSE COST TOO MUCH, THESE COST TOO MUCH.|
|00:02:22||ALWAYS WHEN YOU'RE IN THE R&D STAGE, THINGS COST A LOT.|
|00:02:26||BUT WHEN YOU SLOWLY DEVELOP AND CREATE THE MARKETS, AND THE MILITARY IS A HUGE DRIVER OF A MARKET.|
|00:02:31||SO I'M EXCITED THAT THEY'RE IN THESE AREAS, AND I OPPOSE THE IDEA THAT SOME SENATORS AND HOUSE MEMBERS, REPUBLICANS THAT ARE SAYING THEY SHOULDN'T BE DOING ANYTHING EXPERIMENTAL.|
|00:02:40||ABSOLUTELY THEY SHOULD.|
|00:02:41||THEY ARE A CONSUMER OF THE PRODUCT, THE LARGEST CONSUMER.|
|00:02:44||LET'S HAVE THEM GIVE US SOME INNOVATION, BECAUSE PEOPLE MAY FORGET THAT THE SAME PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING THE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN THE EARLY 1960'S, THEY ARE THE ONES THAT STARTED THE INTERNET, WHICH WE NOW ALL BENEFIT FROM.|
|00:02:57||CAN YOU IMAGINE IN THE 1960'S IF WE HAD SAID TO THE MILITARY, WE DON'T WANT YOU TESTING THAT THING YOU'RE CALLING THE INTERNET SYSTEM, THAT'S ALL BAD, YOU GET OUT OF THAT BUSINESS?|
|00:03:07||WHERE WOULD WE BE TODAY?|
|00:03:08||I WOULD SAY AS THE PARENT OF A 9-YEAR-OLD, I MIGHT HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW ON THIS, TOO.|
|00:03:12||I MEAN, I DON'T WANT MY SON ON THE INTERNET ALL THE TIME.|
|00:03:16||IT HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR ECONOMY AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT'S GOING ON.|
|00:03:19||SO TO CONCLUDE, I JUST WOULD SAY THAT WE HAVE A CHANCE TO DEVELOP, TO DIVERSIFY AND DELIVER A REAL ENERGY PLAN IF WE FOCUS ON IT.|
|00:03:27||THAT'S WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING.|
|00:03:28||SO I THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM LOUISIANA.|
|00:03:31||I THANK THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO WHO IS PRESIDING TONIGHT, THE PRESIDING OFFICER, FOR ALLOWING US TO HAVE A LITTLE RANT HERE IN OUR OWN WORLD, BUT I THINK THE WORLD WE TALK ABOUT IS THE SAME WORLD THAT ALMOST EVERYONE IN AMERICA IS LIVING IN.|
|00:03:45||GAS PRICES THAT ARE HIGH.|
|00:03:48||ANYONE WHO SAYS THERE IS A MAGIC BULLET THAT TOMORROW THE PRICE WILL GO DOWN, THAT AIN'T HAPPENING.|
|00:03:53||I KNOW THE OTHER SIDE WANTS TO MAKE US BELIEVE WE DO CERTAIN THINGS -- I SUPPORT THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE, I KNOW YOU SUPPORT IT, BUT THAT WON'T LOWER PRICES TOMORROW.|
|00:04:02||I SUPPORT FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS, LONG-TERM PLAN, JOBS, A VARIETY OF THINGS.|
|00:04:06||THEY WON'T LOWER PRICES TOMORROW.|
|00:04:09||DRILLING IN CHUKCHI AND BUSTAMANTE, IMPORTANT TO ME.|
|00:04:16||-- AND BEAUFORT, THESE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS WE NEED TO BE DOING.|
|00:04:20||WILL US INVESTING IN CONSERVATION TO ENSURE THAT COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS AND HOUSES ARE MORE EFFICIENT TURN A DOLLAR RIGHT AWAY?|
|00:04:28||A LITTLE BIT, BUT OVER THE LONG HAUL, I'M DOING AN ENERGY RETROFIT TO MY HOUSE IN ANCHORAGE.|
|00:04:34||I'M GOING TO SAY SOME MONEY.|
|00:04:36||THE MONEY WILL GO INTO MY POCKET.|
|00:04:38||ACTUALLY, IT WILL GO IN AND GO OUT BECAUSE I HAVE TO PUT MONEY ASIDE FOR MY SON'S EDUCATION, BUT I HAVE MORE MONEY.|
|00:04:43||SO IT PLAYS OVER TIME.|
|00:04:44||NOTHING HAPPENS OVERNIGHT.|
|00:04:45||AND I -- IT DRIVES ME CRAZY WHEN I HEAR THE OTHER SIDE SAY THIS IS LIKE MAGIC, TOMORROW THINGS WILL CHANGE FOR YOU.|
|00:04:51||I -- I WISH THAT WAS THE CASE.|
|00:04:53||WE ALL WISH THAT'S THE CASE, BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE THIS PLAN TO GET THERE.|
|00:04:57||SO I THANK THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA FOR JOINING ME TONIGHT.|
|00:05:00||THANK YOU FOR STANDING TALL WHEN WE TOOK OUR VOTE YESTERDAY.|
|00:05:05||I THINK WE MADE, I HOPE, OUR POINT, AND NOW WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD AND HOPEFULLY GET OTHER PEOPLE TO FOLLOW THE LEAD AND DO A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.|
|00:05:17||LANDRIEU: I THANK THE SENATOR.|
|00:05:19||PRESIDENT, WHILE I'M ON THE FLOOR, I'D LIKE TO SPEAK FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES, IF I MIGHT,|
Mr. BEGICH. I thank my friend from Louisiana, and I will conclude by saying again that her point about being smart and strategic is what we are saying. No one is saying either/or, that it has to be this or that. It is a combination of things. Some will be more expensive today but maybe less later.
Think about the technology around the cell phone the first time it came out, which used to be a box about this big, and you plugged it in your car and the big receiver would be in your trunk. It cost several thousand dollars to buy that technology, if you remember, and people were saying: No one is ever going to do that. Now you can go to the 7-Eleven--or in my State it would be the Holiday store--and buy throwaway phones. It is amazing what can happen when you allow some expansion of this knowledge and technology.
Oil and gas bring new technology. The Senator mentioned directional drilling, for example, which is new technology being developed in our State and her State to bring opportunities that Shell gas is now doing--all kinds of opportunities.
When you think of the security level, I know the Senator from Colorado, our Presiding Officer here, has been in the Armed Services Committee, where we talk about this all the time. How do we get the biggest consumer--the military--to find new alternatives? And they are experimenting.
But what is amazing--and we heard it last week and the week before--is that our friends on the other side are wondering why the military is looking at alternative fuels. They actually asked, what gives you the authority to do that? Well, actually, when it costs you almost $400 a gallon for diesel fuel on the front lines of Afghanistan, I think that is a good reason. They should be looking at what kinds of alternatives they can use.
I have seen what they are doing. They are doing some amazing things with solar panels and small devices. And what is important about that for the military is they can move more rapidly through areas so they won't have to worry about where is the diesel truck for energy. But for rural Alaska, it is important in our rural villages where it is $10 or $11 a gallon for heating fuel, and now there is technology that, instead of taking up a whole room, is portable, and they can move it, they can use it, and it saves consumers.
So there are all kinds of things we should be doing.
I know the other side will say: Those things cost too much; these things cost too much. When you are at the R&D stage, things always cost too much because you have to move slowly to develop and create the markets. But the military is a huge driver of a market, so I am excited that they are in these areas. And I oppose the idea of some Republican Senators and House Members who are saying they shouldn't be doing anything experimental. Absolutely, they should. They are a consumer of the product.
Let's have them give us some innovation.
People may forget that the same people who were doing the energy development in the early 1960s are the ones who started the Internet, from which we all now benefit. Imagine in the 1960s if we had said to the military: Oh, we don't want you testing whatever they were calling that Internet system. That is bad. You get out of that business. Where would we be today? Now, as the parent of a 9-year-old, I might have a different view on this. I may not want my son on the Internet. But it made a difference in our economy and everything else that is going on.
To conclude, I would say we have a chance to develop, to diversify, and to deliver a real energy plan if we focus on it. That is what we should be doing. So I thank my colleague from Louisiana, and I thank the Senator from Colorado, who is our Presiding Officer tonight, for allowing us to have a little rant time here in our own world. But I think the world we talk about is the same world almost everyone in America is living in, with high gas prices and wanting real solutions.
Anyone who says there is a magic bullet and the price will go down--that isn't happening. I support the Keystone Pipeline, and I know my colleague from Louisiana supports that, but that won't lower prices tomorrow. I support, for a variety of reasons, a long-term plan--jobs and other things--but it won't lower prices tomorrow. Drilling in Chukchi and Beaufort is important to me. I think in the long term it will create jobs and it will lower gas prices but not tomorrow. But these are the kinds of things we should be doing.
Will our investing in conservation to ensure that our commercial buildings and houses are more efficient turn a dollar right away? A little bit. But over the long haul--I am doing an energy retrofit to my house in Anchorage. I am going to save some money. It will go in and go out because I have to put some money aside for my son's education. But I will have more money. So it pays over time. Nothing happens overnight. It drives me crazy when I hear the other side say that this is like magic and tomorrow things will change. I wish that were the case. We all do. But we have to have a plan to get there.
I thank the Senator from Louisiana for joining me tonight. I thank her for standing tall when we took our vote yesterday. I think we made our point, and now we need to move forward, and hopefully we can get other people to follow our lead and do a comprehensive plan.