Our national security and economic prosperity both depend on a smarter approach to obtaining and using the energy America needs. And make no mistake -- we need reliable energy to power our economy throughout the 21st century. But the 20th century's near-exclusive reliance on fossil fuels cannot be the model for America's energy future. We need an energy strategy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, promotes energy efficiency, encourages the development of American energy technologies and sources, and helps preserve the planet for future generations.
Today's Needs and Tomorrow's Possibilities
There are more rigs drilling for oil and gas in the United States today than at any other time in the past several decades. And America’s dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year since I took office.
Satisfying our energy needs with domestic production is wise, but it doesn't give us license to be reckless. The BP disaster was a perfect storm of lazy regulation and untamed avarice. We would be foolish to embrace the mantra of "Drill, Baby Drill" before asking what we might kill, baby, kill in the process. Wildlife? Water supplies? Sustainable economic growth? In the near term, we have to safely exploit our abundant American oil and gas reserves. But what's next?
In the long run, we will move away from fossil fuels and leverage our greatest renewable resource: innovation. Smart, forward-thinking energy policy rooted in conservation and renewable fuels will reduce costs for families and businesses and create good American jobs in Connecticut and across the country. Dollar for dollar, investments in a clean energy economy will create four times as many jobs as in the oil and gas industry. In the short term, these investments will create jobs in clean energy research and emerging manufacturing fields for products like photovoltaics and wind turbines. In the long term, we will ensure American families and businesses have access to the cheapest, cleanest energy available anywhere in the world, raising our standard of living and making our businesses more competitive.
We can’t afford to wait. Demand for energy grows constantly. Every day that we allow the status quo to continue, we lose ground in the race to become the nation that will lead the clean energy revolution. As countries around the world race to find alternatives to fossil fuels, we must ensure that America takes a leading role in creating a safe and secure clean energy future.
The Power of Efficiency
The cheapest, cleanest energy is the energy we don't use. As our capacity to engineer better products and build more energy-efficient buildings improves, we get the power we need while saving money and polluting less.
I have consistently supported initiatives to promote greater energy efficiency. I have helped pass legislation to make energy-efficiency retrofits more affordable for homeowners. I supported the creation of financial incentives for businesses and local governments to invest in “greening” their buildings and vehicle fleets. I support rigorous national fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks that are helping reduce our spending at the gas pump. And I have sponsored legislation to make it easier for people to work from home or use public transit, to help reduce the number of commuters spending time -- and burning fuel -- in traffic.
Energy Security is National Security
While we have reduced our dependence on foreign oil since 2008 I want to reduce our reliance on Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil further and further still.
America cannot be vulnerable to the whims of unstable governments and hostile nations. We shouldn't enrich oligarchs who may well be funneling our dollars to our enemies.
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