Friday, May 3, 2013
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says offshore drilling is the answer to the question of how to pay for things such as the dredging of the Port of Georgetown and the creation on I-73.
Gingrich was the guest speaker at an Alliance for Economic Development luncheon held Wednesday at Pawleys Plantation organized by Rep. Tom Rice and Sheriff Lane Cribb.
While much of his speech was focused on how government can be more frugal, he ended his presentation by talking about offshore drilling.
He estimates a minimum of $250 million in royalties can be earned from extracting fuels from underneath the ocean.
He suggests the creation of a “royalty bonds” program if offshore drilling becomes a reality.
“These would be bonds tied to the royalties earned from natural gas,” he said, adding the bonds could be used to pay for the Port dredging and I-73.
He also predicts if the digging for fuel is allowed, “the offshore reserves will be bigger than we think.”
He said state lawmakers would need to agree to keep the royalties out of the general fund and instead use the funds for infrastructure.
“It’s a simple concept but one that is difficult to get across in Washington. And that is frugality,” Gingrich said near the beginning of his speech to a packed ballroom.
He said when he looks at the nation’s $4 trillion budget, he is bothered when he see that Vice President Joe Biden spent $585,000 for hotel rooms for one night in Paris, citing a report in the Weekly Standard.
“That is not being frugal and it sets a tone for the whole system,” Gingrich said.
He said being frugal does not mean you have to give up the pleasures of life. Using a trip to Disney World as an example, he said it means driving to Orlando rather than flying and eating most mills in a less expensive hotel rather than eating only in restaurants.
Gingrich said despite party differences, part of his inspiration for frugality and using technology comes from the book “Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government” written by Democrat Gavin Newsom.
Gingrich said if a frugal political party were to form, they would be “re-elected for a long time.”
By Scott Harper