In the 112th Congress Republicans unveiled the American Energy Initiative. The initiative consists of three general guidelines to address the high cost of energy: 1.) Stop government policies that are driving up gas prices and threatening jobs 2.) Expand American energy production to lower costs and create more jobs 3.) Promote an ‘all of the above’ approach to increase all forms of American energy.
Our economy is 80 percent dependent on foreign energy sources for gasoline, most of which we get from hostile countries. Over the next ten years, if no action is taken to increase domestic energy sources, it is estimated that we will spend $10 trillion on foreign oil, much of it going to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, and other OPEC countries.
The OPEC oil cartel controls more than three quarters of the world’s global oil reserves and severely restricts both supply and access to its oil fields. This has caused a dramatic spike in the price of oil, which not only hits consumers at the pump, but harms nearly every aspect of the economy.
In California, 31 energy projects have been delayed or cancelled. These potential projects include a variety of gas, solar, wind and bio-fuels. Regulatory barriers, an inefficient review process, and continual threats of legal action create a business environment unsuitable for energy expansion and development. The first step of increased energy production is allowing companies to begin production.
I am a co-sponsor of the “Defending America’s Affordable Energy and Jobs Act” which prevents Washington bureaucrats from implementing the federal Cap and Trade plan. This bill removes dozens of current EPA regulations which unnecessarily drive up energy costs and inhibit job creation. This bill also prevents state legislatures from taxing greenhouse gas emissions. Removing these regulatory burdens is necessary to allow businesses to flourish and develop alternative means of energy production.
Renewable and clean energy sources like nuclear, wind, solar, and lithium-ion car batteries for electric hybrids will provide the base of our energy supply in the future. New, clean technology is doubling car battery capacity every two years for hybrid vehicles. Improvements in vehicular fuel efficiency have also helped, benefiting the environment and lessening our reliance on oil. In the interim, however, it is vital that we tap into our natural resources. A now restricted Alaskan site has an estimated 10.6 billion barrels of oil, and the oil shale reserves in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming hold nearly 1.8 trillion barrels of crude oil, but are closed to exploration.
It is essential that we utilize our nation’s vast energy supplies. At the same time, we should continue to develop new, clean technology. This would significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Doing so sooner rather than later is both an economic necessity and vital to our national security.