Senator Hoeven gave the weekly Republican radio address this morning. A full transcript of the address follows below.
“As we enter 2016, we need to remember that we are truly blessed to live in the greatest country in the world. Thanks to our military, veterans, law enforcement, first responders and others who keep us safe and free.
“On Tuesday, President Obama will give his last State of the Union Address to the nation. He will likely itemize a list of what he believes to be his accomplishments and priorities. However, what we really need to hear about is how he will unleash the creativity and drive of the American people.
“As we look to the future, we need to recognize that the greatest strength of our country is the ingenuity, resourcefulness, productivity, work ethic, and talents of our people.
“As Republicans, we want to empower our great people and country to compete and win. That means reducing the regulatory burden, reforming and simplifying the tax code and getting our fiscal house in order.
“It means finding savings and reforms to reduce the size and scope of government to make sure we don’t leave our kids and grandkids a big debt and deficit.
“Hi, I’m Senator John Hoeven, and I’d like to talk to you today about how the United States needs to compete in the global energy arena.
“This holiday season, consumers saw the lowest price of fuel at the pump in seven years. As a result, more families hit the road to see loved ones and friends.
“If you liked paying less for gas at the pump this year, you need to know that those prices are lower because America is producing more oil and gas, and more supply is keeping costs down.
“But if Americans want that to continue, we must take proactive steps so that our domestic industry can continue to grow.
“Make no mistake, we are locked in a global battle to determine who will produce oil and gas in the world in the future. Will it be OPEC? Russia? Countries like Venezuela? Or will it be us, the United States.
“We took an important step toward winning that battle last month by lifting the 40-year-old ban on oil exports.
“OPEC is fighting to defend their market share and exert their historical dominance over oil markets and energy prices. They’re actually working to undermine our energy industry.
“As a consequence of President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran, this state sponsor of terrorism will now be able to increase its oil exports at a moment when our moderate Sunni allies and their partners feel increasingly threatened by Iranian belligerence. As a result, Saudi Arabia has opened the spigot to maintain its own level of exports.
“A huge part of Vladimir Putin’s power base on the world stage is the fact that so much of Europe depends on oil and gas from Russia.
“And ISIL is relying upon the sale of oil and gas to fund its brutal terrorist activities in the Middle East and beyond. Part of defeating ISIL will include militarily denying them oil revenues which they are using to fund their operations. We can’t do that and at the same time be reliant on oil from the Middle East.
“For all of these reasons we need to make our nation energy secure.
“Furthermore, we need to be creating good-quality energy jobs here at home, rather than seeing them created overseas, often in countries that are our adversaries.
“The ability to compete is also vital for our economic growth and job creation in other industry sectors, as well, because energy is a foundational industry. Low-cost energy makes us more competitive in the global economy across the board – in all industry sectors.
“More supply means lower prices at the pump, which benefits all families and small business across America, and energy security is a vitally important part of national security.
“Americans have seen what it means to depend on OPEC for their energy needs, and they don’t want to go back to that era of embargoes and high prices at the pump, as Europe faces with Russia and OPEC today.
“At the same time, as we develop and deploy new technologies to produce more energy more efficiently and more cost effectively, we’re also improving environmental stewardship.
“Ironically, as we’re producing more oil and gas, we’re actually lowering CO2 emissions. Between 2007, when carbon dioxide emissions plateaued, and 2014, we have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 10 percent. That’s in part because we’re producing and using more natural gas from domestic shale like the Bakken formation in my home state.
“Lifting the antiquated ban on oil exports and enabling our country to compete is just one example, but it illustrates the Republican approach, which is to empower men and women in all industry sectors to compete by unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people.
“Combine that can-do spirit with a pro-growth business climate that incentivizes investment and innovation across industry sectors, and you have a formula for success.
“Americans can compete with anyone, anywhere and anytime, but we need to empower them to do so.
“We need to help industries across the board – our farmers, ranchers, and small business, the backbone of our country – to grow and create the good jobs of the future.
“You do that by building the kind of legal, tax, and regulatory climate that attracts investment, innovation – and jobs.
“You do it by reforming the tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer so that the American people have the motivation to compete and win.
“You do it by reducing the size and scope of government and the federal bureaucracy so that our President and Congress are working for – not against – the innovative men and women who are striving every day to build the future of America.
“And finally, you do it by controlling federal spending to shrink our debt and deficit. We must stop mortgaging our children’s future.
“These are the ways you create economic growth and jobs. These are the ways you build opportunity and prosperity for all.
“And after all, opportunity and the chance to succeed, no matter who you are or where you came from, are the hallmarks of America; they are what the American Dream is – and always has been – all about.
“Thank you, and best wishes for a wonderful New Year.”