The American public is desperate for solutions, but a national energy tax is not the answer to address climate change. This week, House Republicans unveiled the American Energy Act—a better solution that offers more affordable energy, more good-paying jobs, more energy independence, and a cleaner environment.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the cleanest way for utilities to control carbon emissions is to increase their supply of carbon-free nuclear energy. It is imperative that clean, safe nuclear power be at the forefront as we seek to solidify our nation’s energy supply and foster a new era of energy independence and reduced emissions. It defies reality that in the 1,000-page Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill focused on reducing emissions that nuclear, the source of 70 percent our nation’s emissions-free electricity, is only mentioned twice. We have got to get our priorities straight.
The American Energy Act charts a new course by laying down a national goal of licensing 100 new nuclear reactors over the next twenty years. With more than 31 announced reactor applications already in the pipeline, this goal can be achieved. Renewing our commitment to nuclear power will also revitalize an entire manufacturing sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Our nation must also develop more of our own domestic natural resources, like oil and natural gas. Our bill opens up for exploration the Arctic Coastal Plain as well as environmentally-sound leasing for oil and natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf and oil shale in the Mountain West. Revenues generated by the sales of leases would be deposited in an Renewable and Alternative Energy Trust Fund to encourage the development of clean, renewable and alternative energy technologies, like wind and solar. Finally, our bill encourages personal responsibility through conservation.
Our commonsense American Energy Act is aimed at more energy production, cheaper fuel bills, more jobs, and greater energy independence, which will also yield a cleaner environment and a more secure nation.