GOP Rep.: Obama waging a "war on American energy"

Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., accused President Obama of "waging a war on the middle class" in the weekly Republican address Saturday, saying the president's energy policies will kill jobs and crimp economic growth.

"In Montana, we've seen first-hand the potential that our energy sector holds for lowering utility costs for hard-working, middle-class families. It'll revitalize the economy on our Indian reservations and supporting thousands of good-paying union jobs," he said. "Yet President Obama has spearheaded a war on American energy that not only stands in the way of the potential - it works to reverse it."

The president's imposition of a carbon pollution cap on coal-fired power plants last month has come under fire from Republicans who say it will drive up electricity costs and inhibit domestic energy production. Daines did not name the carbon cap in his address Saturday, but he did say the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are waging a "war on coal" that will hurt Indian reservations in his state.

"The Crow Indian Reservation is home to some of the richest coal reserves in Montana, but the Obama administration's war on coal is standing in the way of the Crow people's ability to develop their resources and reap the economic benefits that are so badly needed on the reservation," Daines said. "I was recently meeting with Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote, and I asked him what his top three priorities were. And he told me: 'Jobs, jobs, and jobs.' And then he continued, and he said: 'A war on coal is a war on the Crow people of Montana.'"

Instead of "job-killing regulations," House Republicans have offered solutions, Daines said, but the Democratically controlled Senate has refused to consider them.

He called on Reid to "join the House in putting middle-class jobs, affordable energy and America's future first."

In his own address on Saturday, President Obama reprised his call for corporate tax reform that lowers rates and closes loopholes, saying a small handful of companies are dodging taxes and sticking Americans with the bill.

"Even as corporate profits are as high as ever, a small but growing group of big corporations are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes. They're keeping most of their business inside the United States, but they're basically renouncing their citizenship and declaring that they're based somewhere else, just to avoid paying their fair share," the president said. "Right now, a loophole in our tax laws makes this totally legal, and I think that's totally wrong. You don't get to pick which rules you play by or which tax rate you pay, and neither should these companies."

On Thursday, during a speech at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, the president urged Congress to close this "unpatriotic tax loophole" to reward companies who demonstrate "economic patriotism" by keeping their assets onshore.