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Issue Position: Energy

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Congressman Akin actively supports an All of the Above approach to U.S. energy policy. As demand for energy increases worldwide, our energy policies must adjust. We must unleash the power of American enterprise by using all available options to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. In his work on the House Science and Technology Committee, Mr. Akin monitors the latest research on conserving and producing American energy. Throughout his time in Congress, Congressman Akin has advocated a safe and sensible energy independence plan for our country -- an effort that has been thwarted by the majority party. Importing oil from unstable regions of the world costs every American household the equivalent of $20,000 a year. We ought to utilize available methods to lower the cost of energy - especially in these challenging economic times. Developing additional domestic sources of energy also deprives hostile foreign interests of funding.

It seems the mantra "we must wean ourselves from foreign oil" has been a staple of political rhetoric for decades. However, rather than pursuing policies to make energy independence a reality, or at least lessening our reliance on foreign sources, we have instead set in motion a regulatory scheme that actually forces an ever greater reliance on foreign sources of energy.

Not only does that subject our economy and household budgets to the wild swings of world currency and commodity markets, but it also negatively impacts our national security.

We must, without delay, expand our access to domestic sources of energy. Today's technologies allow for greater efficiencies in resource extraction and greater environmental protections. Concurrently, we should continue to explore and invest in new technologies that will help power our cars and light our homes in the future.

Nuclear Resources
Congressman Akin is strong supporter of building safe, emissions-free, nuclear power plants. This means rolling back burdensome red tape that currently hinders the development of nuclear energy.

While some other forms of energy may be clean and safe, they are also expensive and unreliable. Lithuania and France generate over 70 percent of their electricity from nuclear power. Yet, nuclear power plants in the U.S. produce only 19 percent of all U.S. electricity. In fact, there are seventeen countries that use a higher percentage of nuclear power than the United States.

We have not built a new nuclear power plant since the 1970s. However, to serve our country's needs over the next two decades. we need to build about 1,500 power plants. Safe, clean, nuclear power could become our primary fuel for generating electricity, meeting today's demand without compromising important environmental protection goals.

Cutting edge technology has made nuclear power a great deal for consumers and the environment. If the United States were to double its nuclear power production, replacing electricity that would come from other sources, It would have the same effect on CO2 production as removing nearly all passenger cars from America's roadways. It would also reduce the cost of electricity and decrease our dependence on imported fuels.

Increasing domestic energy production has the added benefit of adding hundreds of thousands of new jobs -- right here in America -- skilled jobs that cannot be outsourced and will help grow our economy.

Off-Shore Resources
Congressman Akin advocates increasing access to all domestic energy resources. Conservative estimates suggest that the United States has more energy producing natural resources than the entire Middle East. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. has enough oil and natural gas to fuel more than 65 million cars for 60 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for 160 years and there are 30 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable, oil on federal lands currently closed to development. In addition, there are nearly 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas available for recovery off our shores. Allowing safe, responsible and environmentally sound exploration and energy production -- both offshore and on federal lands - would create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Alternative Resources
Today, we consume more energy resources than ever before and yet our emissions have never been lower. Congressman Akin believes that the key to cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy lies in unleashing the power of American entrepreneurialism. By providing targeted incentives, we can jump start research into hydrogen fuel cell technology, clean coal technology, bring safer and reliable nuclear power online, improve ethanol efficiency, increase production and delivery of non-food based biofuels and promote more energy efficient vehicles and homes.

Mr. Akin also supports coal-gasification. The United States has more than 275 billion tons of coal reserves. These reserves hold more energy than all the oil reserves in the Middle East. Coal-to-liquids technology can play an important role in producing clean electricity, natural gas, hydrogen, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel (ULSD) derived from coal-to liquid technologies will also help lessen America's dependence on foreign energy.


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