U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), a member of the Senate Energy Committee, today commented following the President's announcement that he will expand domestic oil drilling along U.S. shores. Johnson has pushed a three-pillared, comprehensive energy agenda to aggressively develop renewable and alternative fuels to displace gasoline demand, expand domestic oil production by drilling off our coasts, and crack down on market speculation.
Johnson has released the following statement:
I am pleased that President Obama is moving forward with an energy agenda that lessens our dependence on unstable countries in the Middle East. This is no silver bullet, and expanding off-shore drilling will not solve all of our energy problems overnight. We must also continue our efforts to expand renewable energy production, including in the areas of wind, ethanol and biodiesel. South Dakota can play an important role in a clean energy economy, and I will continue working to put us on a path to harness that potential in the years to come.
Together with proposals to increase renewable energy production, Johnson has long supported efforts to increase drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and natural gas production off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, including the decision by Congress in 2008 to lift the Outer Continental Shelf moratorium.
As a member of the Energy Committee, Johnson helped craft the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009, which would expand energy development in South Dakota and increase production of low-cost electricity. The bill passed the committee with strong bipartisan support last year.