By Representative Fred Upton -
As the mercury continues to plummet and millions of Americans hit the road to visit loved ones across the country this holiday season, we are continually reminded of the real impact that energy prices have in our day-to-day lives. That impact further underscores the urgency of fully embracing a comprehensive national energy policy that says "Yes!" to the increased production of North American energy and the thousands of jobs that come with it.
Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its annual World Energy Outlook, outlining a dramatic shift in global energy markets driven by increased oil and gas production here in the United States. According to the IEA, "North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world."
The report forecasts that the United States will become the world's largest oil producer before 2020 -- overtaking countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia. While as a nation we currently import approximately half the petroleum fuel we consume, the IEA predicts the United States will become "all but self-sufficient" by 2035.
New energy discoveries and technological advances have spurred an energy renaissance in the United States and have put the goal of North American energy independence within reach. Defying previous notions that the United States was running out of energy supplies, we are now well on our way toward energy security. But in order to reach this goal, we must have the right policies in place.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is committed to the continued advancement of a pro-energy, pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda that will ensure North American energy independence becomes a reality. That means commonsense steps like approving the Keystone XL pipeline project, eliminating unnecessary permitting hurdles, opening up more federal lands to oil and gas exploration, and opposing red tape that restricts growth and impedes job creation.
An American energy renaissance would help revitalize U.S. manufacturing and give struggling families and businesses greater economic certainty. It is time to embrace our energy independence.