As a member of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, I recently took part in the introduction of a package of 15 pieces of energy legislation which will increase the supply of American-Made Energy. These bills address every portion of the energy sector, and are focused on providing real energy solutions to Americans without hurting American jobs or the American economy.
Alternative fuels and methods should be part of a long term solution to the energy challenges we face. However, I remain committed to the belief that a responsible energy plan should not rely solely on the promise of technologies which are not yet commercially viable, nor should it jeopardize our nation's economy.
This legislative package demonstrates the actions we can take today to address our nation’s energy challenges by increasing access and use of American-Made Energy.
American-Made Energy means utilizing the over 10.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that the Department of the Interior says is our nation’s best single opportunity to increase significantly domestic oil production over the next 40 years. In my time in Congress, I have voted over 13 times in favor of increasing our domestic energy supply through environmentally sound exploration of ANWR.
American-Made Energy means taking action to allow environmentally sound exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) rather than ignoring the fact that Cuba has leased drilling rights to China to explore oil and gas production just 50 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. I do not believe it wise for the United States to sit by and watch the Chinese come right up against U.S. waters and slant drill into the Florida pool, draining out what is technically the crude oil of the United States.
American-Made Energy means ensuring that government subsidized corn-based ethanol does not drive up feed and food prices for American consumers.
American-Made Energy means enhancing our nation’s nuclear energy capacity by allowing the Department of Energy to recycle “spent” nuclear fuel rods as is currently being done in Europe. The uranium in these fuel rods can be reprocessed for more nuclear energy production, thus significantly reducing the amount of unusable nuclear waste.
American-Made Energy means streamlining the permitting processing for the construction of fuel refineries. A key barrier to new plant development, including coal-to-liquid and biofuel energy projects, is the complexity of permitting and as a result, no new refineries have been built in the past 30 years.
Collectively, these pieces of legislation are a real energy plan that would lower our dependency on foreign oil as well as lower prices at the pump for Americans without harming our economy.
Many of these initiatives, including streamlining refinery permitting and the opening of ANWAR and the OCS, have been passed by Republican Congresses in the past, only to be blocked by Democrats.
Now in the majority, the Democratic leadership continues to ignore these real solutions. It is time that Congress stop playing politics with the current energy crisis and start seeking immediate assistance for American families. I look forward to working with my Republican colleagues to push Speaker Pelosi to allow their consideration on the House floor.
Below is a complete list of the bills that make up the American-Made Energy package.
(Click on links for the bill texts and summaries.)