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Issue Position: Smarter Energy Future

Issue Position

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THE SEA ACT

Congressman Walden has long supported an all-of-the-above approach to making America more energy independent, including production of our vast energy reserves. He authored legislation - the Security and Energy for America Act (SEA Act - HR 6779) - to create a ten-year funding source for renewable energy and is pushing for long-term tax renewable energy tax incentives so Oregon can create green collar jobs, produce energy, and better the environment.

The United States exports around $1.6 billion every day for energy from countries and cartels that don't like us all that much. The country's Outer Continental Shelf contains an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil, yet most of it is off-limits to production.

Enough is enough. Congressman Walden's SEA Act would take an "all-of-the-above" approach to producing domestic energy for Americans to help bring down the price of energy and start transitioning the country to a smarter, cleaner, renewable energy future.

By producing energy and receiving royalties from America's vast energy reserves on the Outer Continental Shelf (beyond 75 miles from the coast in deep water), the SEA Act would supply a ten-year revenue stream for the following:

* Wave energy production
* Wind and solar energy production
* Geothermal energy production
* Biomass energy production
* Hydropower production
* Cellulosic energy production

It would also:

* Create a program to convert three million gas guzzlers to efficient natural gas or gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
* Fund on- and offshore fish and wildlife habitat enhancement.
* Provide heating assistance for low-income Americans.
* Invest in high schools, career technology programs, community colleges, and universities.
* Help reduce of the national budget deficit.

The SEA Act would produce new energy, create jobs, and expand state control of coastlines:

The Security and Energy for America Act would open America's deep coastal waters for safe oil and gas energy production. Similar legislation that had far less renewable energy incentives and just $50 million annually for county payments passed in 2006 with the support of 40 Democrats.

The bill would greatly expand offshore state coastal boundaries to 12 miles (currently three miles for Oregon and most other states) and provide state authority over energy development out to 75 miles offshore.

SMARTER FOREST POLICY

While Congressman Walden no longer chairs the forests and forest health subcommittee, he has nonetheless gathered bipartisan support to begin the effort to update the popular Healthy Forest Restoration Act so federal forest managers can actively manage our forests to reduce catastrophic fire and improve forest health.

Many areas of Oregon have been devastated by mill closures after changes to federal forest policy greatly constricted how much timber could be produced on federal land. Congressman Walden believes that with simple, commonsense changes to federal forest policy, we can thin dangerously overstocked forests, using the byproducts for biomass energy production, creating a new industry for rural Oregon.

The end result would be less catastrophic fire, less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, healthier forests, less reliance on foreign energy, and most importantly jobs for rural Oregonians.


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