While we are not paying as high a price as we were last summer, gas prices continue to fluctuate and are currently on the rise. High energy prices hurt American families not only at the pump but anywhere we try to buy food or goods. That is why I have continued to support a comprehensive energy plan which utilizes the substantial natural resources we have here in the United States, expands our support for alternative, renewable energy sources, and promotes conservation.
Right now, big government supporters in Washington are trying to impose a national energy tax on Americans. This cap and trade scheme is bad for your family budget; it is bad for the competitiveness of American businesses in the global economy; and it will have a marginal if any effect on the global environment. I am opposed to a national energy tax, because it places the burden of cleaner energy onto the backs of hard working South Carolina families who will see the price of this plan on their home utility bills. I believe there is a better way forward in the form of a comprehensive energy strategy.
We must start exploring for more American energy resources to increase supply of oil and natural gas and bring down the cost of energy while reducing our dependence on foreign countries. Under the comprehensive strategy I support, we can use the revenues and royalties from on-shore and off-shore oil and natural gas exploration to help fund our nation's investment in new, alternative, and renewable energy resources.
We must look at all forms of renewable and clean energy technology to build a strong foundation for our future energy needs. There is not a single answer to the problem; we must look to diversify if we are going to solve our nation's energy crisis. Innovative research and development of bio-mass as well as other proven forms of energy such as nuclear power can help diversify our energy portfolio. In the Second Congressional District, we have great research teams at the University of South Carolina and Center for Hydrogen Research located at the Savannah River Site, who are working on ways to reduce our need for fossil fuels and come up with an effective and clean fuel cell system. We need to continue to push for greater research and tax credits for the use of alternative energy including solar technology and for promoting conservation through hybrid vehicles and energy efficient buildings.
We can invest in these new technologies and promote conservation without needlessly raising the price of gasoline, home utility costs, and consumer goods through a punitive national energy tax. That is why I will continue to support an all-of-the-above energy strategy.