ON ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, I BELIEVE IN THE FOLLOWING CORE PRINCIPLES -
There is, perhaps, no greater threat to economic and national security then our dependence on foreign energy.
Today, the United States imports 57% of its oil and that number continues to rise. Additionally, our energy grid is deteriorating and new sources of energy are not being accessed quickly enough. America needs a comprehensive energy policy.
I believe that policy should begin with expanding domestic production of near term fuel sources. Oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale, and products to produce methanol and ethanol, not limited to corn. As much as we would love to go to a renewable fuel economy tomorrow, that is not going to happen, regardless of promises or "green jobs" gimmicks. In addition, for domestic energy needs, we must expand the use of clean and efficient nuclear power and invest in research for future nuclear power, like fusion energy.
While we do this, we can build for the future. Tax credits for using on site renewable energy sources like wind and solar power that add power to the grid rather than take it away. Passing the Open Fuel Standards Act so that all cars sold in America are able to run on a variety of fuels -- from gasoline, to methanol, ethanol, bio-diesel, and others -- so that gasoline no longer has an energy monopoly and create a price war between fuel suppliers to the benefit of consumers.
Lastly, we must stop feeding the notion that government can force innovation and create green jobs and, instead, let entrepreneurs create the future by removing taxes on capital and stop trying to pick winners and losers. While government has a role to play in offering research and development tax credits, financially participating in competitions, and creating an environment where the best can shine, it cannot mandate progress or legislate energy independence.
WITH THOSE PRINCIPLES TO GUIDE ME, I SUPPORT -
Drilling in ANWR (1)
Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
NOTE: With the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, many have asked if this would change my position on Gulf drilling. No one, regardless of how pro-drilling, is for unsafe drilling. In this case of BP, we must do all we can to mitigate this disaster and find out what went wrong. I firmly believe that Gulf drilling is part of our energy future. But, as with all risk, from hurricanes to man made disasters, the stark reality of these disasters seems to come into focus only AFTER the tragedy. If we are going to engage in activity that is inherently risky, we must have plans in place in case things go wrong. We did not abandon space travel after Challenger and Columbia. We did not stop shipping oil after Exxon Valdez. We do not stop flying after a disaster. We learn and we make risky activity safer. We must do that in this case and expand our energy future.
Expand Natural Gas drilling and exploration in the Gulf of Mexico
Expanding US refining capacity (2)
Expanding the use of nuclear energy
Eliminating MPG requirements and promote fuel diversity -- create competition for how we fuel our cars, rather than trying to reduce the cost of the only way to fuel our cars (3)
X-prizes for fuel efficiency, fuel diversity, new fuels, and other incentive/competition based grants (4)
Encourage the State of Florida to create incentives for the utilization of bio-mass, grasses, and algaes for fuel sources. Utilizing Florida's amazing growing capacity without endangering food crops
Robust opposition to Cap and Trade
Promote interstate rail and other high speed alternatives to clear some of our major highways through public-private partnerships that are not taxpayer subsidies