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America's Energy Independence Involves Us All

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

No matter how hard some may try, you can never talk a problem to death. Solving problems means taking action.

Record prices at the gas pump, higher costs at the grocery store, and pay checks that don’t always stretch through the week are growing American problems that need action.  The core problem – rising energy costs – won’t be solved by talk. We need a common sense, action-based American Energy Plan for our nation.


We also need a strong grassroots movement supporting action that will give us American Energy Independence.  If we came together and began taking action today, we could stop importing overseas oil by 2015 and begin protecting America’s national security, lowering gas and home heating prices, creating jobs and protecting the environment.

I have introduced legislation to establish July 4, 2015 as America’s Energy Independence Day – the day Americans would no longer need to import overseas oil and the day our actions begin to give us a stronger economy, more secure nation, and cleaner environment.

We kicked it off in a non-traditional way, launching it via the Internet and YouTube. You can check it out here. There’s an animated cartoon with audio and an interactive, as well as a summary of the plan and Americans can sign the Declaration of American Energy Independence.

The American Energy Independence Act would involve all of us.  It calls for using the technology we have today to bring together all of our resources to produce American-made energy.  This plan, for example, calls for creating incentives for consumers to get older vehicles off the road and replace them with new, more fuel efficient cars and trucks.  If we got just 10 percent of cars built before 1993 off the road, we could save two million barrels of imported oil per day and see a major reduction in emissions. 


We need to generate more electricity with new nuclear power plants, using new technology to build plants that run on renewable fuel and release no emissions. The new facilities could create as many as 4,200 new jobs per plant for America’s working families. Forty new plants could reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 178,000 barrels daily.

Another crucial step for our future: Shift almost $2 billion federal dollars being spent annually to study climate change, applying it instead to make that investment in the nation’s research universities where scientists are working on alternatives like bio-mass fuels that will create renewable energy sources and reduce emissions.

America has supplies of oil itself that can be tapped in an environmentally-friendly way.  American oil drawn out of as few as 2,000 of the 19,000,000 acres in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, and more several dozen miles off the coasts of the U.S. under water in the Outer Continental Shelf can help us create a diverse energy base.  These two sources of oil alone should yield two million barrels a day and create as many as one million new jobs!

Comprehensive problems such as our energy crisis call for comprehensive solutions. That is why my 10-step legislation calls for investing in wind and solar power, promoting conservation in our homes and businesses, providing incentives to automakers to build next generation cars such as plug-in hybrids, and transitioning airline jet fuel to coal-to-liquid fuel.


These diverse, broad-based solutions are needed to lower gasoline prices at the pump, reduce electricity and natural gas bills, protect our environment, and make America safer and more competitive.

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