We've all felt the impact of the rising costs of gas and utilities on our family budgets, and we must find a way to lessen the economic burden on American families simply trying to afford driving to work and heating their home. And at a time when America is confronted by growing instability in the Middle East, we must now, more than ever before, make lessening our dependence on foreign oil a top priority. We cannot send our energy dollars overseas only to have them land in the hands of those who wish us harm. Lessening our dependence on foreign oil is critical to our national security and our economic security.
While most Americans agree that our country must lessen its dependence on foreign oil, there are many opinions on how best to achieve this goal. Some argue we can drill our way to long-term energy security, while others argue that conservation is the best strategy. I believe the best approach is somewhere in the middle--an "all-in" approach that would incorporate ideas from the many sides of this important debate.
However, if we're serious about lessening our dependence on foreign oil, we must move past the political rhetoric and recognize that drilling alone will not make our nation energy independent. We must also invest in renewable sources of energy such as the bio-fuels that are made right here in Indiana. We must promote wind, solar, hydroelectric, and nuclear technologies that will bring jobs to Indiana, and make greater use of Indiana's most plentiful source of energy: coal. We must tap our resources here at home by promoting domestic oil and natural gas exploration. Equally as important, we must continue to invest in efforts to encourage energy savings and conservation.
Last July, I voted against the "cap-and-trade" bill because I believe that it would have unfairly burdened Indiana's economy. As one of the most manufacturing-intensive states in the nation, Indiana would have been more vulnerable than other states to utility price increases, resulting in a competitive disadvantage for Hoosiers.
Only when we work together and take an "all-in" approach that utilizes America's resources, labor, and ingenuity will we end our dependence on foreign oil, reduce energy prices, and make our country more secure.