We have seen energy prices rise and fall over the past several years. That doesn’t change the fact that, when the economy improves, the United States will continue to see a growing demand for energy. We need to produce enough energy to meet those demands. In order to meet our country’s growing energy demands, reduce our reliance on foreign sources of oil and ensure that we have the fuel we need to power our daily lives, we need to continue to produce traditional sources of American energy at the same time we diversify our energy portfolio to include more renewable and alternative energy sources.
I know how important it is to develop our domestic sources of energy to meet our nation’s energy needs. Wyoming’s vast coal reserves must remain an important part of our energy future. I am a strong supporter of coal-to-diesel technology. Coal-to-diesel fuel is not new, but it can be used to meet our needs in today’s fuel markets. Coal-to-diesel fuel can be transported in pipelines that already exist. And because it comes from coal, our nation’s most abundant energy source, it can be produced by American workers.
I support responsible, limited energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and other areas that have been designated for energy development and where there is support within the state to move forward on energy production. Producing more of our energy from domestic sources will help reduce our country’s reliance on foreign sources of oil and protect us from disruptions to the oil supply in unstable areas like the Middle East or countries like Venezuela that are hostile to the United States.
We also need to increase refining production and capacity. The high price of gas we have been witnessing over the years is partially a result of limited refinery capacity, which means we are not able to produce enough gas in the United States to meet the our country’s demand. Importing oil from other countries is even more expensive when the value of the dollar goes down. We need to get our spending under control in order to keep the value of the dollar from going down and making the price of foreign fuel supplies go up.
Imposing punitive taxes on the oil and gas industry as advocated by some in Congress and the Obama Administration will make the situation even harder because those increased costs will only be passed on to consumers. I do not believe it is appropriate for the federal government to impose artificial price caps on gas prices. As we saw during the 1970s, artificially manipulating fuel prices or supplies can create a worse situation.
I have pushed the oil industry to reinvest more profits into expanding production capacity and infrastructure for new refineries and pipelines. By expanding domestic energy production and refining capacity, we can produce more fuel and bring prices down. But expanding our own infrastructure is being fought from all sides.
I support diversifying our energy portfolio to include more alternative and renewable energy resources such wind, solar, hydro-electric and nuclear energy. I have supported providing tax incentives for investments in these energy sources. I am pleased that there are a number of wind energy projects happening in Wyoming.
Below are eight steps that I believe will provide the United States with sufficient energy:
1. Use Less Energy
· Promote energy efficiency education so Americans know what simple actions save energy.
· Increase Research and Development for advanced batteries – plug-in hybrids will help reduce gas consumption.
2. Find More American Energy
· Open up the Outer Continental Shelf to responsible energy production.
· End the ban on the development of oil shale technology that could produce as much as 2 trillion barrels of American oil.
3. Speed the Process
· Streamline the refinery permitting process - the United States has not built a new refinery in more than 30 years.
· Review the National Environmental Policy Act and find a way to limit the endless filing of lawsuits to stall energy development.
· Provide federal assistance in the development of hydrogen technologies.
· Research and Development of advanced ethanol technology that is not corn-based.
· Repeal of State Mineral Royalty Theft to incentivize states to allow for production on their lands.
6. Clean Coal Technologies
· Research and Development funding to help develop and deploy carbon capture and sequestration technologies.
· Promote loan guarantees for coal-to-diesel production.
· Provide long-term contracting authority for the U.S. Armed Forces to purchase jet fuel from coal.
· Provide tax incentives to help build new nuclear reactors
· Solve the spent nuclear waste problem.
· Open up less than one percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy production. Doing so would produce approximately one million barrels of oil per day.
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