Perhaps no issue highlights Washington's dysfunction as much as energy policy. The Democrats refuse to pass any new energy policy that is based in reality -- preferring to push only unworkable solutions that will raise energy prices for everyone. And too many on our side resist the kind of diversification of our energy resources that could increase our national security.
There's no reason for this stalemate. We need to pursue an "all of the above" energy strategy that includes:
* More domestic exploration for oil and gas. Too much of America's own energy resources are locked up behind parochial policies that restrict extraction. We need to unlock our American oil and gas reserves in Alaska, in the Rocky Mountain region, and off our coasts. The more oil and gas we are able to generate here at home, the less we have to purchase from countries that hate us. National security demands a national, not parochial, energy policy.
* Expansion of nuclear generation capacity. It has been decades since we brought new nuclear plants off the drawing board. Nations like France and Japan have proven that nuclear power can safely and cheaply produce a massive share of needed electric capacity. Congress needs to lower the barriers to the permitting, approval, and financing of new nuclear plant construction.
* Infrastructure for alternative energy sources. Wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels can all play important roles in an energy future that makes us less reliant on foreign dictators. The federal government's proper role in launching this new energy future is to incentivize private research that will make alternative sources more economical and to plan for the infrastructure required to deliver alternative energy into our electric grid.
* Clean Coal technology. It's often said that America is "the Saudi Arabia of coal." We must maximize this domestic energy resource while making its use cleaner and safer. Clean coal technology must be a national research priority.
* Conservation. One of the fastest ways we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil is to reduce wasteful consumption patterns. The government should take the lead in this by setting aggressive benchmarks to conserve power in government owned buildings and fleets.
* Opposing carbon regulation. The far left-wing elements of this administration foresee a near future with carbon regulated as a pollutant and heavily taxed to discourage consumption and generate revenue. We must resist all of these radical approaches all geared to raise energy prices on American families and businesses.
* Sovereignty. America must not surrender our national sovereignty to any international cap-and-trade scheme. The United States' energy policy should be driven by the economic and security objectives of our own country and not made subservient to Europe's most radical ideas.
The dirty little secret of liberal energy policies is that they believe in HIGHER energy prices -- whether they admit it or not. They believe in reducing fossil fuel consumption and blocking nuclear energy and are certain that high prices help their cause. This radical approach would be destructive to our economy and must be resisted.
The common ground that both parties can pursue is a diverse energy future that makes economic growth and increased national security as the core principles of our national energy policy.