Rep. Mike Conaway at Washington Post Live's Energy & the Election breakfast forum at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. (Donald Lynd/For the Washington Post)



The [Obama] administration says one thing, but then they do an awful lot of other things that are just the opposite.

Here’s a classic example. We have — a dunes sagebrush lizard in West Texas. It’s a little critter. It’s indistinguishable from his common cousin, but it’s endangered. So as a part of the plan to protect this lizard, if you dig a pipeline ditch, you have to dig on it on-ramps and off-ramps for the lizard. Then three times a day, you have to have a trained lizardologist walk that pipeline, [but] roadrunners, which eat these things, are just simply sitting at the top of the off-ramp and snagging these guys.

The administration talks out of both sides of its mouth. They promote on one side, and on the other side the EPA and others make conventional energy production more expensive and less available.

I’m not saying we’re not going to have regulations, [but] they ought to make sense.

We do a terrible job of pulling old, outdated regulations off the book. We just continue to stack [new ones] on top of them.

State-based regulatory schemes are more nimble than federal-based regulatory schemes. So having an overall policy that’s being implemented by the states makes a whole lot more sense than having to try to write in Washington, D.C., rules that are applied to West Virginia, rules that are applied to Texas, rules that are applied to New Mexico.

State-based regulatory schemes also have people who are answerable to the people that are being regulated in ways that a federal regulatory scheme does not.