The rise in energy prices is due in large part to Congress' historic inability to respond. As is the case with most decisions made in Washington, D.C., short-term thinking has resulted in long-term costs for all of us. By closing off major reserves of oil and gas within our own territory and subsidizing a select few energy alternatives and technologies, Congress has decided the agendas of special interests are more important than the well-being of all Americans.
I believe the goal of ensuring U.S. energy independence is vital to our long-term national security. We can move toward this goal of maintaining sufficient, reliable domestic energy sources by opening up vast reserves off shore and on federal lands, while providing adequate protections for the environment, developing safer and more reliable nuclear energy, protecting marginal well production and pursuing the development of renewable energy. Coupling this strategy while removing regulatory barriers to the development of new technologies like coal gasification (a process that converts coal into diesel fuels) America can achieve energy independence. I am proud that Oklahoma has been a pioneer in creating the key aspects of new energy technology.
My commitments to correcting our nation's energy policy include:
* Fighting to lift federal barriers on the development of oil shale. American oil shale reserves are the largest in the world, and exceed one trillion barrels of reserve oil.
* Leading the fight against legislation that permanently blocks access to all forms of energy--traditional and renewable. Recently led efforts to defeat massive public lands bill that blocked an additional 3 million acres of prime energy land.
* Fighting unnecessary environmental regulations that are intended to drive small energy producers out of business.
* Supporting the development of next generation nuclear energy.
* Fighting legislation that blocks construction of much needed transmission capacity, including major natural gas ports and electricity lines needed to transport power from new wind farms to market.
* Blocking legislation that will limit access to major reserves of clean, renewable energy, including major geothermal resources.
* Opposing carbon cap and trade systems that will grow the government, and dramatically increase energy costs to consumers.
* Supporting efforts to bring greater transparency to energy trading markets to ensure fairness and reduce much of the market manipulation that drive fuel prices higher.
* Opposing federal ethanol mandates that result in greater costs to taxpayers, and lower fuel efficiency.
Oil and gas exploration in Oklahoma continues to make a significant contribution to our economy. Complex federal regulations and tax structures often are a barrier to exploration in our state, and I will fight to dismantle those barriers.