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Energy is vital to every sector of the U.S. economy, including homes, small businesses and industries. Energy powers computers, appliances, technology and the Internet and fuels transportation and farming. When energy supplies are tight, families and businesses are severely impacted by the resulting increase in energy costs.
Today, a large number of factors combine to put pressure on gasoline prices and other energy including peaked U.S. oil production, increased world demand for crude oil, and U.S. refinery capacity that is inadequate to supply gasoline for our national economy. These are serious problems that will not go away with time, and they require real solutions that will restore American energy independence and help ease the pain of record high gas prices.
With Americans paying an average of over $4.00 at the gas pump, we must diversify our energy supplies with alternative fuels. Today, only 6% of our energy supply comes from renewable sources. We must also expand the use of home-grown and home-produced energy, including fully utilizing nuclear power, and clean coal technologies, to lessen our dangerous dependence on foreign energy.
I am pleased to be a cosponsor of the ‘No More Excuses Energy Act’, which encourages domestic production of energy. Specifically, this important legislation includes tax credits to capture carbon dioxide coming up smoke stacks and use it to flush oil out of existing wells and allows us to get more oil out of wells that we already have while at the same time, reducing green house gas emissions. It also extends the wind energy tax credit for 10 years, encourages investment in new nuclear power plants, lifts the moratorium on drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf, which could potentially provide 17 billion barrels of oil and opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, potentially producing nearly a million barrels of oil a day.
Last week, I joined over 135 Members of the House of Representatives in signing a discharge petition to immediately bring this critical legislation to the House floor for a vote. The need for a comprehensive energy bill has never been more apparent and so I urge the Democrat Leadership in the House to take action by allowing a vote on the ‘No More Excuses Energy Act.’
Abundant and affordable energy is the key to a strong economy. Until alternative fuel technology becomes more affordable and convenient, our cars, our jobs, and our economic growth will continue to run on traditional energy sources and so we must develop a long-term strategy that allows us to access our traditional energy sources, while also developing alternative and renewable energy.