In recent years, the American people have felt the full impact of an energy policy that favors big oil companies and special interests at the expense of the tax payers. At a time when America is confronted by growing instability in the Middle East, we must now, more than ever, make achieving energy independence a top priority. It is a critical issue of both national and economic security.
While most Americans agree that our country must become energy independent, there are many opinions on how to best achieve this goal. Some argue we can drill our way to long-term energy security; others argue that conservation is the best strategy for realizing long-term energy security. I believe the best approach is somewhere in the middle--one that would incorporate ideas from the many sides of this important debate.
At a time when gas prices are at record highs and gas revenues are being funneled directly to the Middle East, we would be foolish not to explore and refine more American oil. To this end, I have co-sponsored The American Made Energy Act of 2008, which would allow for exploration and drilling in areas such as ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf.
However, if we're serious about achieving energy independence, we must move past the political rhetoric and recognize that drilling alone will not make our nation energy independent. We must also invest in renewable sources of energy such as biofuels made right here in Indiana. We must promote wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear technologies that will bring jobs to Indiana, and make greater use of Indiana's most plentiful source of energy: coal. Equally as important, we must continue to invest in efforts to encourage energy savings and conservation.
Only when we work together and take an "all-in" approach that utilizes America's resources, labor, and ingenuity will we end our dependence on foreign oil, reduce energy prices, and make our country more secure.