Issue Position: Energy

Issue Position

* Fighting for a comprehensive energy plan to reduce gas prices and curb our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. I have fought to utilize American energy supplies, promote the building of new refineries, cut the number of reformulated fuel blends, and responsibly promote conservation technology and alternative sources of renewable energy.

* Calling upon Congress to boost the supply of American energy. With more oil under US soil than the entire Middle East, we must drill for our own oil rather than sending 1.5 billion dollars a day to foreign governments who are hostile to America.

Our nation's flawed energy policies are causing great pain at the pump and have put at risk the livelihoods of hard-working Wisconsinites. Rising fuel costs have been cited as a critical factor in the announced layoffs at General Motors and Midwest Airlines. We need a coherent energy policy -- and we need one today.

First, we must boost domestic energy supply and drill for more oil. North America is home to a tremendous untapped supply of oil and natural gas -- but we aren't allowed to touch a vast majority of it because Congress has made it illegal. In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Outer Continental Shelf, and the Intermountain West, we have more oil under our ground than all Middle East countries combined. We can tap into these tremendous sources of energy in an environmentally-sound manner -- but Congress would rather have us pay other countries and dictators that are hostile to our country's best interests.

Drilling alone is not enough. We need a multi-faceted approach to tackling our energy crisis. We must streamline the process for building new refineries. We haven't built a new refinery in three decades and as a result, have become increasingly dependent on foreign sources of refined petroleum. The construction of new refineries and pipelines would also help create new jobs here in this country. We also must streamline our fuel blends. I have advanced legislation that would curb the numerous mandates for specialized "boutique" fuels so we have standardized gas blends. We must stop relying on food for fuel. By converting food to fuel, prices for both have risen. Congress has recently gone in the wrong direction by quintupling the ethanol mandate.

Finally, we must provide increased incentives to unleash American ingenuity on getting us off of our addiction to fossil fuels. We should be making sensible investments in research and development for environmentally and economically sound alternatives to oil as a source of energy. We also need to boost research in conservation technology. This goes hand-in-hand with drilling for oil today. According to the Congressional Research Service, drilling in ANWR alone would generate nearly $200 billion in tax revenues and royalties for the Federal Government. This could be invested in a Manhattan Project for alternative energy to get us off of our dependence on fossil fuels. We can drill for oil today to help make us oil-free tomorrow.