The United States is one of the most blessed countries in the world when it comes to its abundant natural resources. However, our nation’s energy policy has long been based on the interests of individuals rather than the best interest of our nation, and as a result, we’ve been left with a fragmented energy policy. For both economic and national security reasons, America needs a strong and diversified national energy portfolio.
From the Gulf of Mexico to the coasts of Alaska, we have almost unlimited untapped resources. For too long we were dependent on foreign imports, which was truly a national security concern, but I am pleased that since the beginning of the 21st Century, the U.S. energy sector has undergone tremendous changes that have resulted in the U.S. becoming a global leader in energy production. In fact, despite high levels of domestic demand, our crude oil and petroleum product exports are reaching record levels. In order to reflect the energy wealth and stability that our land currently holds, we must develop and strengthen our national energy portfolio.
Though I strongly support the continued development of fossil fuels, I also happily support the increased use of renewable, sustainable energies. However, we have experimented with many competing forms of renewable energy in the past 30 years, spending billions of dollars subsidizing the technologies with the best lobbyists rather than the technologies with the most long-term promise. That’s why we should redirect our scarce financial resources towards the research and development of transformational new technologies rather than propping up legacy renewables that still can’t compete on their own after decades of federal support.
For instance, I have supported the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which identifies and supports projects with the potential to revolutionize American energy. The first-dollar federal support made possible by ARPA-E allows startups and entrepreneurs to leverage private capital to create good-paying American jobs, some of which are right here in the Seventh District. The path towards real, sustainable energy independence in America starts by finding and making smart, targeted investments in these kind of cutting-edge technologies will produce a renewable energy revolution that is powered by consumer demand rather than government force.
Finally, I support initiatives that educate Americans on common-sense conservation measures that provide dual benefits of reusing energy and saving money. Conservation is an issue upon which all Americans should be able to agree; there are ways to conserve energy more and protect the Earth we have been blessed with. With that said, energy conservation initiatives should rest in the hands of individual Americans and their state and local officials—not the Federal government.