A comprehensive energy plan for America
May, 201, 2001
America has a serious energy shortage. President Bush and Congress are working on a comprehensive plan to address it.
Currently, I am leading a Working Group' in Congress to forge a consensus on legislation that will comprise the comprehensive energy plan. The group is comprised of members of Congress, working with the Bush Administration in studying proposals for a national energy policy.
One of our primary goals is to protect consumers from wild fluctuations in energy prices by increasing and diversifying America's energy supply.
The fact is, we have become too dependent on foreign oil. As a result, we are now at a crucial time in developing an energy policy for both the short and long-term.
Americans are hurting today, but tomorrow will be tougher if we don't unite around a comprehensive energy policy.
Over the next 20 years U.S. oil consumption will increase by 33 percent and demand for electricity will rise by 45 percent. Future energy demand is going to vastly outstrip our supply if no action is taken. The quicker we act on a comprehensive plan, the sooner consumers will get some relief.
We are working on an energy plan that contains the following five components:
Modernize and increase conservation Expanding conservation by increasing funding for energy efficiency programs, encouraging the development of fuel-efficient vehicles, and creating tax credits to encourage consumer conservation.
Modernize and expand energy infrastructure Outdated regulations have frozen America into an antiquated energy supply network designed for 1950, not 2001. Our plan will help create a new, high-tech energy delivery network by expediting permitting for infrastructure improvements, expanding research on reliable energy transmission, and tearing down regulatory barriers that hurt consumers by preventing them from having lower energy bills and more dependable energy.
Diversify energy supplies Deploying the latest technologies to increase environmentally-friendly exploration and production of domestic energy resources to diversify our supply. We support investing in new energy technology, expanding the use of alternative and renewable energy such as wind and solar, and providing for the safe expansion of nuclear energy.
Improve and accelerate environmental protection New anti-pollution technologies now allow us to increase our energy production while protecting our environment. Our strategy will cut emissions from electric power plants and increase funding for clean coal research. An integrated approach can yield a cleaner environment, a stronger economy and a sufficient supply of energy for the future.
Strengthen America's energy security We want to protect Americans from big fluctuations in energy prices and supply by helping low-income families with heating and cooling assistance, reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and building strong relationships with energy producing nations in our own hemisphere.
As we move forward developing and implementing an energy plan, we must focus on producing a more reliable, affordable, and environmentally-clean supply of energy for the future.
We must take action now, instead of waiting and hoping the energy crisis will go away. I'm pleased that Congress and the President are stepping up to the plate by working to address the energy crisis to help maintain America's leadership and our quality of life.
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., represents Mississippi's Third Congressional District. Write to him at 427 Cannon Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, or call him at (202) 225-5031.