Solving America's energy crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our generation.
While there's no one answer that will solve America's energy crisis, several bills are now before Congress which would significantly increase our domestic energy production.
The American Energy Act (H.R. 6566), which I have cosponsored, is a comprehensive bill that would:
-- Open our deep water ocean resources, Arctic coastal plain, and Western oil shale resources to oil and natural gas exploration;
-- Remove the bureaucratic red tape that hinders the construction of new oil refineries;
-- Provide tax incentives for businesses and families that purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles;
-- Eliminate the barriers to nuclear power production;
-- Permanently expand the tax credit for alternative energy production, including wind, solar and hydrogen;
-- Promote coal-to-liquids technology.
In addition to cosponsoring and advocating for the comprehensive American Energy Act, I have taken the following actions in Congress in order to help ensure our nation's energy security:
-- Cosponsor of legislation (H.Res. 500) that discourages major natural gas exporting countries from establishing a cartel to manipulate the supply of natural gas to the world market. This bill passed the House in July 2007.
-- Cosponsor of legislation (H.R. 6107, the American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act) that would allow for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas resources in the coastal plain of Alaska.
-- Signed discharge petitions to bring the following bills - all of which would have a short-term and long-term impact on reducing gas prices - directly to the House floor for a vote. The Democratic Leadership has consistently refused to allow Republican energy bills to be considered in Committee proceedings (a discharge petition requires 218 signatures in order to allow a bill to go directly to the floor for a vote):
-- H.R. 2279: would expedite construction on refineries on closed military installations.
-- H.R. 2208, the Coal Liquid Fuel Act: would allow the Secretary of Energy to enter into loan agreements for up to six coal-to-liquid projects with coal producers.
-- H.R. 2493, the Boutique Fuel Reduction Act: would reduce the number of specialty blends of gasoline on the market. The current gasoline supply includes boutique, or specially formulated, fuels, which are required by law - and drive up the price of gasoline when one or more of these special blends are limited.
-- In addition, I support waste-to-energy technology, a process by which household garbage is processed into electricity. I had the opportunity to visit the Lee County Resource Recovery Facility earlier this year to see firsthand how this process works. Their facility not only provides clean, renewable energy to the local community, it reduced greenhouse gases and provides an environmentally sustainable option for solid waste disposal. I have signed on to a letter urging Speaker Pelosi to include waste-to-energy technology in any comprehensive energy legislation the Democratic Leadership may develop.