And we have bountiful resources right here at home. The Bureau of Land Management recently released data showing the vastness of our untapped oil and natural gas resources. The Bureau estimates there are currently 117 billion barrels of oil placed off limits by Congress. The 86 billion barrels off our coast alone could provide enough fuel to replace OPEC imports for over 50 years.
A central impediment to getting more affordable energy to American consumers is the lack of refining capacity. A new oil refinery has not been constructed in this country in over thirty years. Washington red tape has discouraged this investment. It is time to release American business from these regulatory shackles.
In addition to increasing known sources, we must promote new, clean, and reliable sources of energy. Our action plan provides investment tax credits for innovation and engineering of new technologies. We should give incentives to find new sources of energy, rather than picking winners and losers. The ingenuity of American enterprise will provide clean energy solutions.
Finally, while we must do all we can to grow our supply, encouraging conservation is imperative. Four dollar gasoline is certainly enough to slow some consumption, but more can be done - without the pain. By providing incentives for conservation we can ease the demand for gasoline, while also becoming a more efficient and clean economy.
People are sick and tired of politics trumping positive solutions. Congress has an obligation and duty to provide responsible answers to American families feeling the strain of runaway gas prices. By putting principled leadership before partisanship, we can solve this crisis and put smiles back on the faces of American motorists.
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