WASHINGTON (AP) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday that President Barack Obama's administration has become "science deniers," failing to do enough to harness the nation's energy potential.
Jindal, a potential Republican presidential candidate, said Obama's policies have limited oil and natural gas production on federal lands, stalled approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and pushed regulations on power plants.
"Right now we have policies in the way of our taking advantage of these energy resources," Jindal said. "The reality is right now we've got an administration, the Obama administration, that are science deniers when it comes to harnessing America's energy resources and potential to create good paying jobs."
The White House has said its promotion of domestic energy production, the use of wind and solar power and the reduction in oil consumption have had economic benefits and reduced carbon emissions. Domestic oil production has boomed in states like North Dakota and Texas because of improved drilling techniques, and Obama's administration has argued that the nation is less dependent upon foreign oil.
The 43-year-old governor and former congressman has sought to carve out a role as a leading policy mind as he considers a presidential campaign in 2016. Jindal told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor that there was "no reason to be coy" and he would make a decision on whether to seek the White House after the November midterm elections.
Jindal, whose home state has extensive oil and gas drilling off the Gulf Coast, promoted a new energy plan during appearances in Washington, outlining steps to bolster domestic energy production and renewable energy. He said it could help the nation address the "new normal" of tepid economic growth.
Conservatives and business groups have opposed new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal-fired power plants, saying it will hurt the economy.
Asked about climate change, Jindal said "human activity is having an impact on the climate" but added that unilateral steps by the United States that hurt the nation's economy would not help the environment. He said any steps to address climate change needs to be done in concert with trading partners. Some fellow Republicans have questioned whether human activity contributes to global warming.
On foreign policy, Jindal said he supported Obama's plan to dismantle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He said Obama had the authority to conduct limited air strikes but agreed with the decision to go to Congress to seek additional funding and broader authority. But Jindal faulted Obama for delaying action on the Islamic State group, saying it allowed the terrorists time to grow stronger in the region.
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