Ending America's dependence on oil - especially from the volatile Middle East and other foreign sources - is one of the most important issues facing our country today. Yet the Bush administration's energy policy, as reflected in the recent energy bills passed by Congress, is totally out of touch with our nation's environmental and security needs. By offering short term solutions for long term problems, the White House and the Republican leadership in Congress have missed a critical opportunity to help wean America from its dependence on oil and promote alternative energy sources.
In 2005 the Republican-controlled Congress passed an energy bill that did little to ensure an energy independent future for our country. Although Republicans hailed it for "addressing" rising gasoline prices and our dependency on foreign oil, the bill actually did more to maintain the status quo. For example, the vast majority of tax incentives granted by the legislation will be doled out to traditional energy sources, such as oil, natural gas, nuclear power and electricity transmission, instead of renewable energy and conservation. Seeking to fill the gaps in its energy policy, the House leadership has embraced the drilling of oil in environmentally sensitive areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Championing such controversial and ineffective measures only emphasizes how out of touch their policy is with our nation's environmental and security needs.
I strongly support raising CAFE standards, providing meaningful incentives for the production of hybrid, flexible fuel and other energy efficient vehicles, and doing more to encourage the use of public transportation.