Yesterday, I held the inaugural meeting of my Energy Advisory Council in Clayton, North Carolina. Over 40 local business owners and representatives from the natural gas, oil, electric, solar, and wind energy sectors turned out for a productive dialogue on the challenges facing their industry. Many issues were discussed, including the new law to allow fracking in the state, rising fuel costs, the North Carolina gas tax, and the energy bills being deliberated in the House.
The Energy Advisory Council will meet at least once a year while updating my office on issues affecting the industry.
This is a very exciting time for energy in North Carolina. Be it wind, solar, natural gas, or oil, our state has so much to offer. I support an all-of-the-above energy approach, which includes development of alternative energy sources such as nuclear, wind, solar, and biomass, along with drilling for oil and natural gas. As a nation, we have a duty to become energy independent - not only for national security reasons, but to create jobs. America is home to vast natural resources, but many of our energy policies are built on the notion that energy is limited and becoming more scarce.
The reality is that we have more combined oil, coal, and natural gas resources than any other country on the planet. The only real question is whether we will have access to our abundant energy resources, not whether sufficient resources exist. That's why Congress has a responsibility to continue to push for effective energy policies that include opening the Outer Continental Shelf, ANWR, and other Federal lands to natural gas exploration.