Over the last 30 years, oil consumption in the United States has increased dramatically, and demand for other fuels is also growing at astronomical rates. As long as our population continues to grow, our energy needs will also grow. We must increase our domestic energy supply to meet this growing demand.
Currently, 60 percent of the oil consumed by America is imported from foreign nations. Our growing dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security and increases the influence that foreign leaders may hold over our nation. It is inexcusable that we place our national security in jeopardy while plentiful resources lie hidden under our own soil. We must find new domestic sources of oil and other fossil fuels.
We must also encourage "cleaner" technologies for creating energy and alternative energy sources. I support the efforts of businesses to employ cleaner manufacturing methods and to sell energy-efficient products. I also support research into renewable fuel technologies, like hydrogen, which leaves no noxious pollutants as a by-product of combustion. Research into new, cleaner products and technologies is futile, however, without consumer demand for such products. The onus of making efficient products more prevalent across the United States ultimately rests with consumers. It is the individual American citizens who must decide to buy the products that use cleaner, more efficient technologies.
We must also strive to use energy wisely. The onus of conservation, however, also rests with the American public. The federal government should not be involved in regulating every aspect of people's lives and consumption. Conservation depends on the consumer, not the government.
I will continue to support exploration for new fuel sources, research into more efficient technologies and alternative fuel sources, and conservation practices. The decision to truly meet our energy crisis head-on, however, rests with the individual choices that each and every American citizen makes every day.