Energy As New Jersey's only member of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee, Frelinghuysen is aggressively supporting congressional efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil through extensive research and development of renewable energy and energy alternatives. Wind, solar power, hydrogen power, and other unique energy sources will give consumers the peace of mind that America does not have to rely on the global oil supply chain for reliable and cleaner energy sources to fuel their cars, run their businesses, and heat their homes. A major piece of this is the President's "Hydrogen Fuel Initiative" which looks to make fuel cell technology commercially available by 2015.
In April of last year, the House passed H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act. Contained in this legislation are many provisions aimed at greater energy efficiency. These include tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles and requirements for lower emissions from fossil fuels. Congressman Frelinghuysen has also consistently supported higher Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards since coming to Congress.
Since 2000 the federal government has invested over $3 billion in renewable energy. For fiscal year 2006, Congress has continued this investment with $343 million overall for renewable energy programs. Of this $25 million was for geothermal technology, $21.4 million for hydrogen technology, and $41.8 million for wind technology systems. Additionally, the Energy Policy Act provided $105 million for a clean coal power initiative and another $237 million for clean coal technology.
The Congressman also remains a steadfast supporter of fusion energy research, much of which is conducted in New Jersey at Princeton University. Fusion energy has the potential to become an unlimited, safe, environmentally friendly and affordable energy source.
He is also fighting for our nation to build its first new oil refineries in 30 years. Our nation learned from Hurricane Katrina that a brief shut down of refineries in the Gulf may not have had such a volatile impact on the price of gas if more refineries existed in order to make up the difference in oil production. 29 percent of our oil production and 20 percent of the natural gas is in the Gulf of Mexico. The northeast U.S. relies on millions of miles of pipeline from the Gulf Coast region for 60 percent of its total oil supply. Further, 50 percent of the nation's heating oil is refined in the Gulf of Mexico, of which 82 percent is consumed by the Northeast U.S.