Let the Free Market Produce More Energy

I want to begin by congratulating the entire RedState team on a great looking new version of the site, and by wishing them a happy 4th birthday.

President Bush has taken an important step to lower gas prices. But now Congress needs to get out of the way and let the free market produce more energy.

The U.S. is the only country in the world that refuses to develop its own natural resources. We have placed 85 percent of our best energy lands off limits. Yet we are willing to enrich foreign governments—including some that foster anti-Americanism—instead of helping ourselves.

 At last, some Democrats are finally getting the message. The ice around their rigid anti-U.S. production position is starting to crack. (It is mid-July, after all.) At least ten Democratic Senators are now making statements amenable to offshore exploration.

But the Democratic leadership is delaying energy-related votes. They evidently fear these proposals could pass. At this rate, I suspect Republicans are going to do better in this fall’s elections than most pundits assume.

I’m backing several bills to move America closer to energy independence. They include the Gas Price Reduction Act, to facilitate offshore and western shale exploration. The U.S. is well on the way toward transitioning away from over-reliance on fossil fuels. I support aggressively pursuing every source of energy—including nuclear, clean coal, shale, wind and solar. We need it all. But as we move toward alternatives sources, our infrastructure relies on traditional energy.

The Democratic leadership thought it could skate through this crisis by relying on shopworn ideas that are proven losers—such as taxing American energy companies, suing OPEC and investigating so-called “price gouging.” These proposals would do nothing to lower gas prices. They would increase our dependence on foreign oil. Congress cannot repeal the law of supply and demand.

I’m currently hosting “Energy Independence Days” on my Web site, including new online interactive features, video messages and guest posts. We’re building momentum toward real energy independence solutions. The initiative has generated record traffic on our blog. It’s more proof—if any is needed—that Americans want action on gas prices from the Democrat-led Congress.

I appreciate Erick Erickson and other Redstate hosts for the opportunity to communicate with your online community. Please join me at www.johncornyn.com this week, and share your thoughts on the growing need for real energy solutions.