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SOTU falls short on energy, GOP says

Feb. 13, 2013 at 8:16 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A North Dakota lawmaker said U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address fell short of energy security expectations.

Obama continued a climate change theme unveiled January in his inauguration speech by calling for a "market-based solution" on climate issues like greenhouse gas emissions during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy strategy has faced opposition from lawmakers concerned he's not doing enough to protect U.S. markets from the geopolitical issues of Middle East oil imports.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said an economic policy that favors business investment was needed for a national economy mired by political debates over the budget.

"It also means reining in our spending and controlling our deficit and debt, as well as developing a true all-of-the-above energy policy that will fuel our economy, move us toward energy security and create good jobs for Americans," Hoeven said in a statement.

North Dakota's economy is thriving in part because of developments in the Bakken oil play, one of the richest deposits in the country.

Obama said the United States was importing less oil than it did 20 years ago as domestic oil production increases.

"My administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits," he said. "That's got to be part of an all-of-the-above plan."

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Obama could unleash $7 billion in private sector investment "with a stroke of the pen" by sanctioning the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

Obama made no mention of the project. It requires U.S. federal approval as a transboundary pipeline.

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