As America's economy expands and technology advances, U.S. energy policy must evolve to meet the needs of our society. I believe the best strategy is to expand and balance our energy portfolio. Each source of energy has both advantages and disadvantages. So, to ensure our continuing economic, environmental, and national security, we must draw energy from a variety of available sources and not become overly dependent on any single source.
While we cannot immediately stop our consumption of foreign energy supplies, we can work towards developing and expanding energy that will both reduce our dependency on oil from unfriendly nations and improve our environment. The United States' energy dependence on foreign entities, some of which are in unstable regions of the world, is one of the biggest long-term national security concerns we face.
We need to focus on exploring and developing American sources of energy. Harnessing clean coal technology, nuclear energy, and domestic oil reserves both off shore and inland to expand our domestic production is important. American natural gas is so plentiful and clean burning that we should expand its use beyond electricity generation and heating and into transportation fuel. To close off any one source of energy puts added strain on other sources and puts our nation at risk.
Energy efficiency can and must play major a role. Being wasteful or inefficient in anything is not a principle or course of action that I subscribe to on any policy issue. Efficiency must be an essential piece of America's energy solution. If we have more efficient homes, commercial buildings, appliances, cars, trucks, and infrastructure, then we will not need to produce as much energy to meet our needs. Using less energy is a direct savings and can happen with existing technologies. In fact, insulation, higher efficiency windows and wall envelopes, and many other forms of energy efficiency are literally off-the-shelf technology, the vast majority of which is made in America and installed in America by American workers.
Additional opportunities in energy efficiency can be found in improvements to our infrastructure. Thus, we should work to make our highways and airports more efficient in order to further decrease demand on current energy resources.
Renewable energy through wind, solar, geothermal or tidal power holds great promise for our nation as well. We need to develop and invest in these new technologies and implement the right policies so costs decline while the technologies advance. However, many renewable energy sources are only intermittent and must be integrated into reliable base load generation from American fuels. It is not an "either or" but a "both and" approach to energy management that I endorse.
Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be living in this world long after I have left it. I want to ensure the world we leave them is one that is clean, safe and secure. Our national energy policy is an issue of tremendous importance to achieving that goal and we must allocate the necessary resources and show sufficient leadership to guarantee our nation's continued stability and prosperity. In Congress I will work to protect our environment and our economic and security interests with a balanced approach to our nation's energy use.