Issue Position: Energy

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Issues: Energy

Conflict in a country many people can't find on the map is driving up gas prices in the Charlotte region.

Investors are worried the Syrian civil war will disrupt the Mideast oil supply, so we pay more at the pump. Why should an internal conflict half-a-world away impact our gas prices?

One of America's most important goals should be achieving energy independence. Our policies must reflect an "all-of-the-above" strategy, making greater use of our oil and natural gas reserves and promoting greater use of our technology. Instead of President Obama's "war on coal," we need common-sense policies to safely and effectively use America's abundant resources, both renewable and non-renewable.

This summer, I urged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation allowing the development of oil and natural gas resources along our maritime border with Mexico. According to an ICF International study, developing America's vast domestic oil and natural gas resources, including opening some of our Federal lands, could generate more than $1.7 trillion in government revenue. A win-win-win, these policies would promote energy independence, help address our national debt, and help repay the billions of taxpayer dollars lost when President Obama invested in risky green energy projects.

America has natural gas reserves larger than the crude oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, and the technology to extract that gas while protecting the environment. We need policies that allow us to capitalize on this great resource.

Renewable energy, which now makes up nine percent of the energy consumed in the U.S., is very important, but only part of the equation. The Federal Government has made significant investments in renewable energy, but further growth needs to come with private investment, just like other energy sectors. Washington borrows $3.8 billion every day, and we can't afford to continue underwriting green energy while ignoring our vast reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal.

As part of an "all-of-the-above" strategy, we must also continue construction of safe, clean, and efficient nuclear power facilities. Limiting ourselves to only a few sources of energy will place America in a dangerous position, dependent on the whims of others.

America has an abundant supply of energy resources, cutting-edge technology, and gifted scientists who develop solutions to keep our environment safe. Instead of using energy as a political football, we need to work together toward American energy independence. Will America own its future, or be owned?