For decades, achieving energy independence has been the rallying cry of both Democrats and Republicans in Washington and across the country. Rising demand for oil from countries such as India and China, combined with increased tensions in the Middle East have been catalysts for rising prices at the pump. There is no question that America’s dependence on foreign oil is a major threat to our economy and national security, and a coherent solution must be found to mitigate these threats.
Thirty years ago, we imported 28 percent of our oil. Today, we import 70 percent, despite the fact that we have vast untapped energy resources below American soil. One quarter of the worlds coal reserves are found within the United States, there are an estimated 1 trillion barrels of oil, and an immeasurable supply of natural gas hidden deep within the shale rock below the earths surface. Unfortunately, excessive regulation and restrictions on the extraction of these precious resources has meant we’re no closer to ending our dependence on foreign oil.
The Obama Administration’s subsidizing of companies like Solyndra and Beacon Energy Corp. are prime examples of energy solutions that don’t work. Rather than focusing on increasing production, the Obama Administration has focused on partisan policies such as eliminating tax subsidies for American oil and natural gas industries and promoting renewable energy.
My opponent, Congressman Steve Israel has been instrumental in preventing an increase in energy production in this country, and promoting partisan politics. Yesterday, Congressman Israel voted against a bill called the Strategic Energy Production Act, which would advance a plan to increase oil and gas exploration, development, and production under oil and gas leases of Federal lands. Congressman Israel also voted to prevent offshore and intercontinental drilling, as well as voting against the job creating Keystone XL Pipeline plan.
We are the country that landed a man on the moon, and we certainly can be the country to achieve energy independence. As your Congressman I will work with any member of Congress who says yes to domestic energy production. It is my intent to work within Congress to reduce the amount of oil we import from foreign countries from 70% to at least 50% in the next eight years.
In order to accomplish this, what we need is a diversified “all-of-the-above” approach, which takes advantage of all potential energy sources, including wind, nuclear, solar, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, clean coal, domestic oil, and natural gas. We must also reduce government barriers, which prevent the development of these energy sources.
Unleashing our vast supplies of energy resources for development will reduce our energy costs, create millions of new jobs, stimulate our economy, and once and for all end the threat to our economy and national security that is caused by our dependence on foreign oil. It’s time to make energy independence more than a slogan. It’s time to make energy independence a reality.