Increasing global demand for oil and conflicts in the Middle East have collectively caused the price of oil to increase tremendously. Oil prices are extremely volatile, and American consumers are paying the price. The economy of the United States has suffered catastrophically because of these high prices and the burdens being placed on Americans are abominable. I am committed to measures that lower the price of gas and I believe that we must reduce our dependence on imported oil.
Oil producing countries and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continue to limit production of oil to keep supplies tight and prices high. I have spoken out on numerous occasions against this form of economic extortion. I have also cautioned against the formation of a natural-gas cartel similar to OPEC. I authored and passed a resolution that declared the establishment of a natural gas cartel to be a threat to U.S. national security interests.
Our nation needs a comprehensive shift in energy policy. New, reliable, and clean sources of energy are the basis of this future reform. I strongly support greater federal investment in alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydrogen fuel cell power. I voted in favor of landmark domestic energy legislation to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and increase our use of clean energy technologies.
I have also voted in favor of several tax incentives for renewable energy, energy production, and energy conservation. I believe that we must reward individuals and businesses that undertake sustainable and energy efficient practices. The United States must explore energy alternatives while preserving what we have at the same time.
Drilling off the Coast of Florida:
Energy reform must address the high cost of gas without ravaging the environment. The disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico provided a grim example of the dangers of off-shore drilling. South Florida's pristine beaches attract swathes of tourists and thus a great deal of revenue. A spill closer to Florida would destroy our natural commodities and harm the ecosystem that makes our community one of the most beautiful in the world. This is why I do not support drilling off the coast of Florida. Energy prices must be reduced, but we have to strike a balance between cheap energy and environmental sustainability. The future of America's energy will come from alternatives and I am committed to ensuring the use of incipient American technology to address our energy needs.