America Needs National Energy Policy

Floor Speech

Date: June 19, 2014
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, headlined today in one of the papers: ``Oil Prices to Rise as High as $120 Per Barrel Due to the Iraqi Crisis.''

Headlined a couple of days ago: ``Oil at a 3-Month High on Iraq Anxiety.''

This brings me back to an issue that I have spoken of many times throughout the years as a Member of Congress, that this Nation needs to have a national energy policy and, just like you would in a good investment portfolio, a diversified energy portfolio.

In the energy arena, I break it into two areas: electricity generation and transportation fuels. In electricity generation, we need to have the full range of competitive fueling technologies to have enough electricity at low prices to fuel and run our economy.

It is hot in Washington, D.C., today. A lot of air conditioners are on, and we want to be able to cool our homes at low prices. That means having a diversified energy portfolio: nuclear power, coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, and solar.

A debate on a diversified energy portfolio doesn't put all of your eggs in one basket. It allows you to have flexibility when there is a crunch or crisis in one of the other areas--likewise in the transportation fuel arena, especially with the crisis in Iraq.

Mr. Speaker, who would have thought, after all these years, we would still be held hostage to high crude oil prices from an unstable region far away off our shores? Shame on us for not taking advantage of what we have locally and in the North American continent.

That is why we need to continue our focus on a diversified portfolio for liquid transportation fuels. Based upon the premise of energy security, we should not be held hostage to countries that don't like us, who want to do us harm, who use our money to fund extremists, but here we are again, in that same position.

So what would a diversified liquid transportation fuel portfolio look like? Well, we know what it would look like. Let's make sure we use this new technology of fracking and take this crude oil and natural gas out of our ground and use that to fuel ourselves, not relying on other countries.

Let's finish the Keystone XL pipeline from our North American neighbors--the Canadians--who are our friends and allies, who will not be an unstable regime, but would be a loyal ally, as they have been for years and years and years.

Let's continue to move on a renewable fuel portfolio, use our agricultural resources in ethanol and soy diesel and beef tallow to ensure that there is a diversified portfolio, so that if any one sector is stressed, you have other sectors in the liquid transportation arena that can pick up the slack and make sure that we are never held hostage again by these foreign regimes.

It is very frustrating to go through this energy cycle where we think everything is fine, the world is at peace, and we start having debates about shutting down this diversified portfolio, only to be reminded--like we are right now--of unstable regimes that don't like us, that when they go into crisis, we all pay.

Mr. Speaker, it is time that we remember energy security means energy security and a diversified portfolio on electricity generation and liquid transportation fuels. I hope we continue to make that message as we move through the legislative calendar this year.