Push for Energy Independence to Lower Gas, Heating Oil, and Electricity Costs
- Fully develop domestic oil and natural gas resources
- Increase supplies to lower gasoline, diesel, and heating oil prices
- Approve construction of Keystone Pipeline
- Facilitate generation of safe, reliable, cheap hydroelectric and nuclear power
Less expensive and more reliable sources of energy will boost our economy and create jobs.
While in Congress, I’ll fight for the federal government to assist American companies to fully develop and transport all sources of domestic energy within environmentally responsible ways. Our free enterprise system can best determine which sources become affordable. Politicians and bureaucrats should not spend limited taxpayer dollars, or borrow more, to subsidize expensive sources of energy.
Currently, our nation imports about one-half of our oil consumption, often from unfriendly countries. Although imports have been falling, we are still too dependent on foreign sources for gasoline and diesel to run our civilian and military vehicles, jet fuel to operate our airline industry, heating oil to keep us warm, and oil to operate our mills and factories. Our continued reliance on foreign oil is an economic and national security problem.
At the current price, American families and businesses send roughly $250 billion per year to other countries to import their oil. Keeping those purchases here at home would create tens of thousands of American jobs to explore, extract, refine, and transport that energy. Untold tens of thousands more jobs would be created by the lower costs to run our companies. Increasing the supply of domestic oil could lower the crushing $250/month gas and diesel bills swamping Maine family budgets.
Recent discoveries of massive natural gas deposits in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia (the Marcellus Shale) offer exciting opportunities for our country. These vast resources are estimated to be able to produce at least a 100-year supply of natural gas. New technologies are extracting this energy in environmentally safe ways. Currently, we import less than 10% of our natural gas usage. It’s expected that the United States will become a net exporter of natural gas in a few short years.
While State Treasurer, I worked closely with the Governor’s Office to facilitate the expansion of natural gas throughout Maine. My business experience made it clear to me that natural gas could increase the competitiveness of our factories and mills by dramatically lowering their operating costs. That would lead to more jobs. Natural gas could also cut in half the annual $3,000 home heating oil expense for the average Maine family.
During the past 20 years, Maine legislators have saddled our families and businesses with expensive energy costs. They succumbed to pressure from special interest groups to help force the closure of our only nuclear power plant, Maine Yankee in Wiscasset, which generated clean, abundant, emission-free electricity costing 2 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh). They have assisted in the removal of hydroelectric dams producing green, renewable power for about 4 cents per kwh. Meanwhile, Augusta has pleased the lobbyists by advancing the development of expensive wind power costing around 22 cents. Today, we Mainers pay roughly 14 cents per kwh retail for electricity when the national average is 12 cents. The high costs to run our mills, factories, and small businesses have driven jobs out of state.
Maine state government’s shortsighted policies have increased energy costs and hurt our families and employers. This embarrassing record is not the answer to more jobs and better lives. We can’t afford more Augusta politicians advancing these policies in Washington.
As Maine’s next 2nd District Congressman, I’ll fight to reduce the cost of energy for our families and companies. I’ll work for energy independence and lower costs through the safe, unsubsidized free market development of all domestic resources including oil, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal. Doing so will grow our economy, create more jobs, and keep us safer at home.