Let's get serious about domestic energy

In his speech at Georgetown University this week, President Obama acknowledged the alarming increases in prices at the gas pump, which in many states are approaching $4 per gallon.  The president restated some vague platitudes about the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but offered no concrete plans to rein in those prices, which are putting a strain on family budgets across the country.

On his recent trip to South America, the President expressed hope that Brazil would aggressively develop its resources so that the United States could become one of the “best customers” of Brazil’s oil industry.  This comes on the heels of his administration sending a loan of more than $2 billion to Brazil to expand its offshore drilling operations.  Obama reaffirmed that insulting endorsement of boosting Brazil’s energy economy in his speech yesterday, leaving drivers across the country wondering why we continue to import over 60 percent of our nation’s total oil consumption from foreign countries and leave vast resources here untouched.

What we need is a strong energy policy that starts, first and foremost, with developing our abundant resources here at home to spur our economy, reduce our reliance on oil from unfriendly regimes overseas and bring down the deficit. Today, I laid out my plan by introducing new legislation, 3-D: The Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy, and Deficit Reduction Act of 2011.  It would unleash our vast domestic energy potential to create American jobs, help free us from our reliance on foreign oil and begin to reduce our $14 trillion dollar national debt. The 3-D Act speeds up the permitting process while ensuring the responsible development of our abundant domestic resources.

The 3-D Act would also put us back on a revenue-producing fiscal path.  Energy production is second only to your tax dollars as a source of revenue for the federal budget.  And yet in his speech yesterday, President Obama restated his desire to shift us away from a revenue-producing energy economy – one that develops our own proven resources – toward massive subsidies for unproven energy sources like wood chips and switchgrass.

That approach won’t bring down our catastrophic levels of debt.  Like other Obama policies that shift power from the free market and toward entitlements and government subsidies, it will only make them worse.

We can’t afford to shut off our most valuable natural resources and just hope for a miracle. We’ve had too many job losses already due to the Obama administration’s shutdown of our energy economy; allowing them to multiply across the country would be devastating. Given the recent unrest in the Middle East, placing our energy security in the hands of unstable dictators isn’t a “plan;” it’s self-destructive.

We can take concrete steps to build a more secure foundation for our economy – one based on developing our own resources, creating good American jobs and lowering the deficit.  I’m starting in Congress with 3-D: The Domestic Energy, Domestic Jobs and Deficit Reduction Act of 2011.



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