Thursday, June 19, 2008

Energy Security for a Prosperous Economy

Today (June 18, 2008), John McCain Will Discuss The Need For Energy Security To Ensure A Strong Economy. Our economy is directly linked to the health and diversity of our energy sources. High gas prices, restrictions on additional development of oil and gas and the inability to begin construction on new power generating facilities has put our entire economy at risk nationwide.

· High Oil Prices Negatively Affect The Entire American Economy. Americans are seeing the ripple effect of high oil prices throughout our economy. Gasoline is over $4.00 a gallon. Food prices are predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5 percent in 2008. Airline ticket prices have increased 10 times since the end of 2007. Industries are struggling to get their products to consumers and consumers are struggling to pay for them. We must reform the transportation energy portfolio and in doing so enable the American family to afford the basic necessities at home.

Economic Impact Of Volatile Energy Sources

A Volatile Energy Economy And The Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil Have Increased Our Trade Deficit And Weakened The Dollar. Since 1973, the U.S. has gone from importing 6 million barrels of oil a day to 12 million barrels per day with petroleum payments comprising 41 percent of the $759 billion U.S. trade deficit. Petroleum imports totaled $331 billion in 2007. We are borrowing from foreign lenders to buy oil from foreign producers. In the world's capital markets, the result is both dependency and debt. Over time, we lose trillions of dollars in interest payments that could have been better invested in American enterprises.

John McCain Believes That The Increase In Food Prices Is Directly Related To Transportation Cost Increases And The Ethanol Mandate. Ethanol mandates in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a gold rush in grains requiring 5.4 billion gallons of ethanol to be included in our transportation fuels by 2008. The 2007 Energy bill increased this requirement to 9 billion gallons, causing an increase in the cost of all groceries. The mandates that Barack Obama helped create required minimum ethanol use and with the tariffs and subsidies in place, more corn was grown to meet the demand and less wheat and soy beans were planted. The result was higher costs for food for people and feed for livestock.

America Needs To Reform Its Energy Sector To Rely On Both New And Proven Sources Of Energy. The U.S. needs to advance its research on clean, alternative energy sources like solar, wind and clean coal, while at the same time recommitting itself to expanding the use of nuclear power.

Strengthening And Reforming Our Energy Future

John McCain Believes That The U.S. Must Become A Leader In A New International Green Economy. Green jobs and green technology will be vital to our economic future. There is no reason that the U.S. should not be a leader in developing and deploying these new technologies.

· John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually To Advancing Clean Coal Technologies. Some believe that marketing viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait, and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research and development that advance this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their coal - creating new American jobs and allowing the U.S. to play a greater role in the international green economy.

· John McCain Will Put His Administration On Track To Construct 45 New Nuclear Power Plants By 2030 With The Ultimate Goal Of Eventually Constructing 100 New Plants. Nuclear power is a proven, zero-emission source of energy, and it is time we recommit to advancing our use of nuclear power. The U.S. has not started construction on a new nuclear power plant in over 30 years. China, India and Russia have goals of building a combined total of over 100 new plants and we should be able to do the same. It is also important for the U.S. to be able to build the components for these plants and reactors within our country so that we are not dependent on foreign suppliers with long wait times to move forward with our nuclear plans.

If The U.S. Commits Itself To Expanding Domestic Oil And Gas Exploration, We Can Make A Positive Impact For A Peaceful And Stable International Oil Market. The current federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities. The Department of Defense will retain its power over any drilling in open waters that they feel might somehow interfere with their training operations. Also, each state has a natural buffer zone within 3 to 9 miles off its coastline where drilling is not allowed.

John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. Also, across the country, water is currently the leading renewable energy source used by electric utilities to generate electric power. Developing these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain voted against the patchwork of tax credits for renewable power in the past because they were temporary and reflected special interests, not what was the best policy. Because of the urgent need to reform our energy portfolio, John McCain will put in place real support for these sources of energy in the form of permanent credits tha t are fair, level and rational, letting the market decide which ideas can move us toward clean and renewable energy.

Taking Control Of The Pricing Of Oil

John McCain Contends That It Is Important For Us To Understand The Role That Speculation Is Playing In Our Soaring Energy Prices. There are already several investigations underway to examine this kind of wagering in our energy markets, unrelated to any kind of productive commerce, because it can distort the market, drive prices beyond rational limits, and put the investments and pensions of millions of Americans at risk. John McCain believes that where we find abuses, they need to be swiftly punished. And to make sure they never happen again, we must reform the laws and regulations governing the oil futures market, so that they are just as clear and effective as the rules applied to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

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