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Lower Gas Prices, Energy Independence

Op-Ed

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Energy independence has been a goal of the United States for decades, but our nation, and Congress, have been slow to act. Republicans and Democrats alike have failed the American people, leaving us with costly gasoline and energy bills that place a heavy burden on our economy. However, energy independence is one issue the political left and the political right should be able to come together and produce meaningful results for a nation in need of relief, but a larger question remains. Does Congress have the political courage to put aside politics and deliver the results Americans are calling for?

Your friends and neighbors, constituents of our 6th Congressional District, are common sense folks that understand the dire situation we face, and our great need to transform into a new energy economy. They also recognize that we can't completely drill ourselves out of our energy woes, and instead move toward our energy future with an "all of the above" approach, leaving nothing on the table.

This is why I authored the Energy VISION Act, a comprehensive bill to provide immediate relief from the price of gas at the pump and achieve long-term energy independence within 15 years.

The Energy VISION Act will increase energy conservation, promote the development of new energy technologies, and most importantly tap existing sources of American energy to increase production and provide relief to hard-working families by lowering the cost of gas.

My bill will harness American sources of oil and alternative and renewable energy. It will also employ our greatest asset, American innovation and ingenuity. It is also important to remember that in a larger sense, the energy crisis revolves around the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand. With rapidly-expanding economies like China and India consuming millions of barrels of oil a day, global demand has reached its highest level in history. At the same time, we are not developing the domestic supply of energy we have here at home; only 3% of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is currently leased for production. With OCS holding more than 86 billion barrels of American oil, we should use such resources to rid our dependence on foreign oil. Today's technology allows oil exploration to be done in a minimally-invasive and environmentally-sensitive manner.

To address the problems of rising demand, I was pleased to join my colleagues in passing into law H.R. 6, the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act. This legislation took important steps to develop renewable and alternative energy sources and promote improved fuel economy and energy conservation. I was also pleased to vote for H.R. 6074, the Gas Price Relief for Consumers Act. Under this bipartisan legislation, OPEC could be held to account for manipulating prices in an anticompetitive manner. Additionally, this legislation would create a Petroleum Industry Anti-Trust Task Force to bring enhanced accountability to the oil industry.

Most experts agree that the current untapped resources in the United States represent a more than fifty-year supply of oil and gas. If fully-realized, domestic production could outpace Iraq, Kuwait, and Venezuela, among other major global suppliers.

America is waking up to the fact that our dependence on foreign oil presents a real problem, particularly when some of our largest oil suppliers do not share our interests and values. For the future of our nation, the preservation of our environment, and the strength of our economy, America must reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy

Americans are increasingly calling comprehensive energy solutions. The question is, will Congress listen?

Rest assured that I, for one, am listening and am taking action. I am committed to pursuing a responsible and effective national energy strategy that will help reduce gas prices and increase our energy independence. American families and businesses deserve relief, not $5 gas. To sign a petition declaring your independence from foreign oil, please click here.


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