The following is from an email from NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.
End-of-summer update: Fighting for American Energy Independence
By Congresswoman Virginia Foxx
As Labor Day weekend passes, it is clear that this has not been the summer North Carolinians had planned on. Too many families have been forced to cancel their vacations and trim their budgets in order to compensate for the sting of high gas prices.
It certainly hasn’t been the summer I planned on. Since the beginning of last month, when House Democrats voted to adjourn for a five-week recess without taking action to deal with our nation’s energy crisis, my fellow Republicans and I have taken to the floor of the House of Representatives – without cameras, lights, or microphones – to talk directly to visitors and make the case for meaningful energy solutions. It has been quite an exhilarating experience to return to Washington, bring visitors to the Capitol on to the House floor, and then have a dialogue with them about energy policy. And it has certainly been worth it.
North Carolina families realize that there is no one silver bullet that will ease the pain at the pump and lessen our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. That’s why I am proud to co-sponsor the American Energy Act, legislation that puts a balanced “all of the above” approach to work by creating new American-made energy, unleashing the potential of new technologies, and further fostering conservation efforts.
I have repeatedly stressed how America’s dependence on foreign oil poses a major threat to the United States’ national security. In 2007 alone the U.S. increased imports of oil from OPEC by 12.7 percent for a grand total of nearly 2 billion barrels of oil—the highest amount in 30 years. This means that the majority of America’s oil comes from an oil cartel composed of countries that vary from the anti-American regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to authoritarian governments in the Middle East.
Imported oil puts America’s energy supply at the mercy of unsavory regimes and can even funnel cash into the hands of state sponsors of terrorism. These are direct threats to our national security.America’s national security and economic stability are directly linked to energy independence. The best way to counter America’s dependence on foreign oil is to produce oil here in America and reduce our oil consumption by using alternative sources of energy.
Tapping into new sources of domestic oil or gas would create a massive funding stream for alternative energy research—without increased federal spending or raising taxes.
According to the federal Energy Information Administration, renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, sun solar, and biomass—met only about seven percent of America’s total energy needs in 2006. The House Republicans plan would help to increase this number and develop other alternative energies. The plan is a pro-American energy strategy that eases the pain at the pump and lessens our dependence on foreign oil.
As Democrats in charge continue to ignore the will of the American people, my House Republican colleagues and I will continue to fight for the American people and their wallets. We will continue to work hard to bring attention to the American people’s struggle and urge Speaker Pelosi to allow the House to vote on the American Energy Act. When the House Democrats return from recess this month, they will struggle to answer the question, “How did we spend our summer?” However, House Republicans will be able to say that we continued to represent the American people and that we fought for American energy independence
Editor’s Note: Virginia Foxx a United States Representative from North Carolina’s Fifth Congressional District, is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. You may contact her office toll free at 1-866-677-8968 or e-mail her from her website, www.foxx.house.gov.