Strengthening our economy will also depend on our nation achieving real energy independence within this generation.
As a Senator from a true energy state - the second leading producer of coal with abundant resources, a net exporter of electricity -- Senator Manchin is very proud of the critical role West Virginians play in providing energy to our nation.
Moving forward, achieving true energy independence demands that we not only start realizing the importance that coal has in achieving this goal, it means we must also stop demonizing one resource and start developing a comprehensive plan that utilizes all of our domestic resources -- coal, natural gas, biomass, nuclear, wind and solar - so that we can, once and for all, end our dependence on foreign oil within this generation.
If we are going to be truly secure, we must declare our country to be energy independent, and every state in this great nation must do its part. West Virginia is using every ounce of its natural resources -- our coal, our abundant supply of natural gas, biomass, wind, hydroelectric, solar -- all of which should be used in the most environmentally responsible way. To that end, he has introduced the American Alternative Fuels Act with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to ease the pain at the pump for West Virginia families and decrease our nation's dependence on foreign oil. The American Alternative Fuels Act breaks down the barriers to alternative fuels -- including fuels derived from coal, biomass, algae and waste. Specifically, the bill repeals Section 526 of the 2007 energy bill, which greatly restricts the federal government from buying alternative fuels.
As a country, we must stop buying oil from countries that promote violence against their own people and the United States. That's just common sense.
Senator Manchin is also strongly committed to working with his fellow Senators across the aisle to develop a realistic and responsible clean energy policy for the future that balances the needs of our economy and our environment.