“We are the generation that will win the war on the energy problem and in that process, rebuild the unity and confidence of America.”
~ Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States
If you read the full text of President Carter’s speech (here) you’ll realize we’re not far off from the challenges of 1979. Some of the good news is we have much better technology and capability than 33 years ago. Discoveries like the Bakken Formation oil in North Dakota are finally giving us proof that energy independence is more than a slogan; or a dream.
Every good leader defines the mission clearly. In energy policy we need a clear mission, strategy and tactics. To properly define our mission, we need to outline the reality. The reality is most of our energy comes from fossil fuels with most of our fossil fuels coming from petroleum. The chart on the left was taken from the U.S. Energy Information Association and highlights an important fact: we get most of our oil from Canada not the Middle East. The EIA also states:
“U.S. dependence on imported oil has dramatically declined since peaking in 2005. This trend is the result of a variety of factors including a decline in consumption and shifts in supply patterns. The economic downturn after the financial crisis of 2008, improvements in efficiency, changes in consumer behavior and patterns of economic growth, all contributed to the decline in petroleum consumption. At the same time, increased use of domestic biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), and strong gains in domestic production of crude oil and natural gas plant liquids expanded domestic supplies and reduced the need for imports. ”
The facts tell us that we don’t have an import/export problem as much as we have a leadership challenge around mission, strategy and tactics.
As Congressman, I will work with my colleagues to build a national strategy around energy:
- Use facts rather than blind, political dogma to define the reality
- Define a clear mission of “Energy independence” (EI)
- Outline a strategy for EI that is implemented gradually over thee next few decades
- Include energy conservation as part of a broad EI strategy
- Implement tactics that encourage and include 50 state participation
Where can we lead? That is always the question I have. Right now the United States of America is the world leader in natural gas production just ahead of Russia. With a comprehensive approach to energy production and mission oriented leadership around energy policy, we can lead ourselves towards a confident energy future. In world leadership, U.S. energy MATTERS.