Senator Blunt understands that more American energy means more American jobs. That's why he supports an all-of-the-above energy policy to lessen our dependence on foreign energy, stimulate economic growth, and create more private sector jobs. Senator Blunt also supports increasing the exploration of oil and natural gas to enable the United States to use every available resource at our disposal, including clean coal, nuclear energy, and natural gas.
Senator Blunt believes that the government should not pick winners and losers through legislative or regulatory policies that penalize low-cost energy sources that many Americans -- particularly in the Midwest -- depend on. Missourians rely on coal for 80 percent of our electricity needs, and Senator Blunt has fought hard against the Obama Administration's attempts to implement a cap-and-trade program, as well as any backdoor regulatory attempts to levy a burdensome and unfair tax on carbon.
During the debate surrounding the fiscal year 2014 budget, Senate Democrats blocked Senator Blunt's amendment to prevent a carbon tax or a fee on carbon emissions. A carbon tax would lead to significant job losses and would force every American to pay more for electricity, natural gas, and gasoline, and would especially hurt states like Missouri, which is heavily reliant on coal for affordable power. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked this important amendment, which would protect the poorest families who simply cannot afford to pay more to fill up their gas tanks and heat their homes.
In addition, Senator Blunt co-sponsored amendments to increase oil and natural gas production on federal land and waters, as well as to urge the Obama Administration to begin construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline. This project would create 20,000 American jobs, generate $20.9 billion in new private sector spending, reinforce America's energy security, and benefit 1,400 American job creators -- all without costing taxpayers a dime.
Unfortunately, the EPA is attempting to circumvent the will of Congress by issuing burdensome regulations that threaten to significantly hamper our nation's access to cost-efficient and reliable energy. Senator Blunt will fight to protect Missourians from this overregulation that will result in increased energy costs, economic damage, and lost jobs.
As part of an all-of-the-above energy policy, Senator Blunt believes renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biomass will also play a role in our energy future. He is an original cosponsor of the "Domestic Energy and Jobs Act" (DEJA), which would advance offshore wind production and streamline energy permitting for all sources of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal, wind, and solar. This legislation would also establish an American Energy Development Plan, as well as stop burdensome EPA rules from inhibiting production, and placing needless regulations on gasoline.
In addition to finding long-term energy solutions, Senator Blunt has worked to find short-term relief when gas prices fluctuate and skyrocket. Current regulations require that unique blends of fuel -- or so-called "boutique fuels" -- are used in different states and cities in an attempt to curb pollution. That means you can fill your tank up with one boutique fuel in Cape Girardeau and another specialty blend in Kansas City. If Kansas City runs low on their unique blend of gas, their price spikes because they can't access more gas nearby. Senator Blunt has introduced legislation to simplify our fuel blends to help lower costs and provide more flexibility for consumers.