In 1977, the Department of Energy was formed to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. In 2006, President George W. Bush again warned us about our addiction to foreign oil and since then we have done nothing. Every president since Richard M. Nixon has bemoaned our reliance on foreign oil but none have taken any serious steps to address the issue in a meaningful way. Rising oil prices are devastating our economy and the security of this nation. As American motorists fill up their gas tanks they fill the pockets of dictators around the world.
We can insulate ourselves from energy price spikes and improve our economy by taking advantage of our domestic energy resources. By reversing President Obama's policies and ending the drilling moratorium, increasing onshore and offshore production, and by opening up resources around the country such as Alaska and the North Dakota's Bakken formation, jobs will be created as families across the country receive much needed relief at the pump. That is why I am a cosponsor of the American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act, which directs the Secretary of the Interior to implement a competitive leasing program for exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas resources off the Alaska Coast.
We need an all-of-the-above approach to solve this problem. We haven't built an oil refinery in this country in over 35 years. We need more oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy production combined with more wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal energies. This will lower prices, create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and strengthen our national security.