The cost of energy is rising with no end in sight. The recent cap-and-trade legislation passed by the Pelosi Congress and favored by my opponent will result in a new, national energy tax that the Wall Street Journal reports will "cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill's restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035."
How do you solve the problem of rising energy costs by making them rise even higher? It's typical Washington, DC problem-solving and it's all wrong. American consumers need and deserve an affordable energy that fuels our cars and heats our homes without sending us to the poor house.
We need true bipartisan agreement on a comprehensive, long-term energy policy for America that embraces an "all-of-the-above" approach to energy policy. That means promoting solar, wind and geothermal as legitimate energy sources that are safer for the environment. That means expanding our nuclear facilities and finally realizing the great potential for nuclear energy to produce low-cost electricity that can power homes and businesses alike. That means advancing technologies for clean coal, instead of abandoning coal as an energy source as some on the fringe might suggest. Finally, it means mining shale oil in the Rockies where some estimates predict we have what amounts to 700+ billion recoverable barrels of domestic oil waiting to be tapped.
It also means increasing domestic oil production, including giving individual states the right to pursue offshore drilling at least 50 miles from the coast if approved by their Governor and Legislature. Done sensibly and safely, drilling will create jobs, lower energy costs and reduce our dependence on hostile Middle East governments for oil, which, among other things, is a threat to our national security.
The indescribable human, economic and environmental tragedy brought about the massive oil spill in the Gulf has certainly opened many eyes and complicated the path forward for drilling offshore, and with good reason. At the same time, those who look the American people in the eye and claim we can go cold turkey on drilling tomorrow are doing nothing more than lying through their teeth for short-term political gain.
In the wake of the tragedy in the Gulf, that the federal government must mandate the most up-to-date safety technology on all rigs off American shores before any expansion takes place. It is frankly inexcusable that countries like Venezuela are more advanced than the United States when it comes to offshore oil exploration and ensuing its safety and efficacy.
While this topic is a volatile one politically, the only answer to our nation's energy woes -- which are only getting worse -- is a comprehensive approach that puts every option on the table to decrease costs for consumers and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.