Combating rising energy prices is a top concern of mine. I have written and cosponsored a number of bills that seek to develop alternative fuel sources, reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and support initiatives to access our own American sources of energyI have supported many energy reform bills which include the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, HR 632, to authorize the Secretary of Energy to establish monetary prizes for achievements in overcoming scientific and technical barriers associated with hydrogen energy. Also, I introduced HR 670, the Dependence Reduction through Innovation in Vehicles and Energy (DRIVE) Act (formerly HR 4409). These bills seek to expand research for alternative fuels, create more fuel efficient cars, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
But we need more. I have often compared our own energy discussions to our national desire for physical fitness. Every year Americans spend millions of dollars on the latest in dieting and weight loss, yet all books, courses, and instruction boil down to two activities: eat less and exercise more. Our energy challenge is not that different; we know what to do, but we keep trying to avoid it.
The major commitments are research, exploration and conservation. We should look at all resources for alternative research but often the politically popular ideas win over less glamorous alternatives. I believe a combination of research in alternative energy sources, accessing our domestic sources of oil and natural gas, and conserving gas on an individual level will together form an effective energy policy.