| We must balance our nation’s energy needs while taking thoughtful steps to preserve our environment. We must pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy that includes research and development of new, clean energy technologies while ensuring that America takes full advantage of our vast domestic energy resources. This strategy will create jobs and make energy more affordable while helping to preserve our environment for the present and the future.
I’ve advocated for legislation to encourage development of hydropower, the largest source of clean, renewable energy in the United States, thereby creating thousands of jobs (including many in the 4th Congressional District) and providing power to millions of Americans at a low cost. Of the approximately 80,000 dams in the United States, approximately three percent currently generate hydropower. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our nation’s energy needs.
At the same time, domestic oil and natural gas play a central role in our energy future by helping to create jobs, revitalizing our manufacturing sector, addressing energy costs and substantially reducing our reliance on energy from unstable foreign sources. Thanks to technology improvements, natural gas production on state and private lands is up 40 percent and oil is up 26 percent since 2007.
I want to build upon this progress by approving construction of the Keystone Pipeline, which the Department of State says could create an estimated 20,000 direct new jobs and deliver approximately 83,000 barrels of oil a day, substantially reducing our reliance on foreign energy. I’ve supported efforts to eliminate government hurdles that block and delay development of other domestic oil, natural gas and renewable energy resources.
These policies are vitally important to American families and businesses. Current gasoline prices largely reflect the fluctuations in the global demand for oil. Many of the nations we rely on for oil have become unstable, causing a spike in global oil prices - one of the main causes of high gasoline prices here in the United States. In order to address energy prices, we must do more to tap into the natural resources that currently are available to us, while continuing to develop alternative energies.
To maintain this balance between our economic and environmental needs, I’m continuously searching for the most current, scientific evidence on climate change. I’m concerned that President Obama’s climate change plan will impose costly new regulations that will stifle job creation. Almost every day, local employers tell me how government regulations hurt their ability to grow their businesses and hire more workers.
By advocating for the comprehensive energy policy discussed above, we can find that balance. Improving energy efficiency, encouraging conservation, increasing the use of renewable and alternative sources of energy and fully utilizing our vast domestic energy resources will help us create jobs, make energy more affordable and better protect the world around us.