Americans continue to demand Congress take a comprehensive energy approach that creates jobs in the United States, increases energy security through environmentally sound domestic energy production, and develops a long-term ‘all of the above’ plan that includes clean alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydropower and nuclear power. As a member of the Committee on Energy & Commerce, I will work to expand access to affordable energy through streamlining government regulations in order to foster an atmosphere for job creation and strengthen our economy.
As a member of the Committee on Energy & Commerce, I have been able to gain firsthand experience in the energy issues facing our nation. I am also a member of the Alliance to Save Energy and the Nuclear Issues Working Group, two groups focused on gathering and disseminating information to Members of Congress and the general public. These groups will play an important role in helping move our nation toward a goal of energy independence.
National Energy Policy
The 16th Congressional District of Illinois is the perfect example of what it means to have an all-inclusive energy approach. This area is home to four nuclear power plants, hydropower plants, ethanol and biodiesel plants, and oil refineries. The district embodies the ‘all of the above’ energy approach that I support and highlights the need for an efficient national energy policy; something our country has lacked for decades.
My colleagues and I on the Energy and Commerce Committee are working to explore more aggressively our country’s vast energy resources in order to provide opportunities for job creation and strengthen our national security through energy independence.
Expansion of Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy is a clean, efficient, and reliable means of generating vast amounts of electricity. Nuclear power is a major source of energy in the 16th District, with four plants currently in operation employing more than 2,500 individuals throughout the Illinois Valley. For these reasons, I am a strong supporter of expanding nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy will flourish if we streamline the regulatory permitting process, implement a national nuclear waste storage plan, and advance nuclear reprocessing and recycling efforts. As our demand for electricity continues to grow exponentially, we must take advantage of this clean, safe, and affordable source of energy.
Rising Gas Prices
There are a number of factors that influence the fluctuation of gas prices. As with any consumer good, when supply is put in jeopardy or demand increases, the price of gasoline will fluctuate. Because the cost of crude oil determines 65-70 percent of the cost of one gallon of gasoline, as oil prices and oil supply fluctuate, so will gas prices. Furthermore, the political instability and turmoil taking place in oil-producing countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, and Libya create uncertainty over the oil supply and contribute to gas price spikes.
Since lifting the moratorium on deepwater drilling permits, the Obama Administration has been slow to issue new permits, thereby reducing and restricting access to our domestic oil supply. The Energy Information Association predicts that Gulf of Mexico oil production will continue to decline in the future, creating a shortfall of production in the years to come. We need to expand exploration and development of domestic fossil fuels both offshore and throughout the continent to ensure our future energy independence.
Be sure to check out more videos below about my work on the Energy and Commerce Committee: