We must become an energy independent nation. Energy independence will help guarantee both our safety and our prosperity. Energy dependence is also a national security problem. If we continue to buy so much energy from foreign nations, we must recognize that we giving money to countries that fund terrorists who fight against us across the world. Equally important, we are transferring hundreds of billions of dollars of American capital away from our borders.
Energy independence has been on our "to do" list for over forty years. Even though the Obama Administration has increased spending for energy research and development, we are no closer to achieving energy independence than we were in the 1970's. We need to develop a comprehensive, workable plan for energy independence, not one marked with political statements, unachievable goals, and the picking of winners and losers.
We have to explore, we have to conserve, and we have to pursue responsible development of our energy resources:
- Natural gas
- Clean coal
It really must be an "all of the above" strategy. And we need to build the Keystone XL Pipeline! We must find a way to remove the red tape that slows innovation. Our free market will sort out what makes the most sense economically and will reward consumer preferences.
We think of globalization as primarily an economic issue and the war on terror as primarily a military issue. Yet the same key unlocks the door to success in both, and that key is energy independence.
Our dependence on foreign oil has caused us to support repressive regimes, to conduct our foreign policy with one hand tied behind our back. Oil has not just shaped our foreign policy, it has also deformed it. Our next President should be prepared to treat oil countries the way that he treats other countries. And that requires us to be energy independent.
Energy independence will ease the effects of globalization because the future energy demands of countries like India and China are going to be tremendous, as their middle class grows. In fact, the high prices last spring and summer were a direct result of this demand.
Looking forward, even if Middle East supplies remain stable - a huge if - the increased demand from China and India will drive prices up dramatically, which will hurt our economy by making everything more expensive here. But if we are energy independent, we will be able not just to take care of our own needs and protect our economy, we will also create jobs and grow our economy by developing technologies that we can sell to the rest of the world to meet their needs.
Achieving energy independence will make us safer and more prosperous.