Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Securing Our Energy Future

Today, John McCain Outlined The Growing Energy Challenges Facing Our Nation And The Need To Reform Our Energy Sector. Over the coming weeks, John McCain will lead a dialogue with the American people about their energy concerns, and the goals that we must set now to end our dependence on oil.

· John McCain Will Break From The Failed Energy Policies Of The Past And Lead A Great National Effort To Achieve Energy Security For A Peaceful And Prosperous America. Working with the leading energy experts inside and outside of the sector, John McCain will work to design and implement the right energy policies that will effectively govern our energy future by enhancing our economic stability, national security and environmental protection.

Our Growing Energy Challenges

The United States And Our Economy Are Overly Dependent On Foreign Sources Of Oil. America currently imports approximately two thirds of the oil it needs. Petroleum products (including diesel and jet fuel) provide 94 percent of our transportation fuel and over 60 percent of that transportation fuel comes from foreign sources. We have doubled our imports of foreign oil in the last 30 years which is a clear failure of leadership from both political parties, the Administration and Congress.

American Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil Contributes Wealth To Undemocratic Governments, That Are Both Supportive Of, And Vulnerable To Terrorist Attacks. Oil revenues are enriching the enemies of the United States. Iran alone receives more than $66 billion a year from oil sales. By relying upon oil from the Middle East, we not only provide wealth to the sponsors of terror -- we provide high-value targets to the terrorists themselves.

Increased Oil Prices Effect More Than Just Fuel For Our Cars. In recent months, the world has seen an overall increase in the price of food. This is a direct result of increased fuel prices for transportation and the redirecting of grains and feed towards ethanol for our fuel supply.

America's Increased Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil Is Resulting In An Increase In Our Trade Deficit. Since 1973, the United States 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 U.S. trade deficit ($293 billion of $759 billion).

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

Breaking Our Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil

John McCain Believes That It Is Time For The Federal Government To Allow States And Localities To Open Their Oil Reserves On The Outer Continental Shelf. The Federal Government has prohibited oil and gas leasing on most of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) since the 1980s. Congress has enacted OCS leasing moratoria every year since 1982 allowing leasing only in the Gulf of Mexico (except near Florida) and parts of Alaska. In 1990, a presidential directive ordered the Department of the Interior not to conduct offshore leasing or preleasing activity in areas and President Clinton extended the offshore leasing prohibition until 2012. John McCain believes we should lift the federal moratorium on these areas and allow the local stakeholde rs and states decide whether or not they would like to allow exploration in these areas.

Over Time, John McCain Believes That We Must Reform Our Entire Energy Economy Toward A Sustainable Mix Of New And Cleaner Power Sources. One of the prevailing issues of our time and the next presidency will be how to deal with the issue of global warming. It is important that we shift to sustainable, clean burning energy sources or advance to technologies that make our more traditional resources cleaner burning.

· Nuclear Power Is A Proven, Zero-Emission Source Of Energy And It Is Time To 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. Currently, nuclear power provides 20 percent of our overall energy portfolio. Other countries such as China, India and Russia are looking to increase the role of nuclear power in their energy portfolio and the U.S. should not just look to maintain, but increase its own use.

· Coal Will Play A Critical Role In Our Energy Future. According to the Energy Department, the U.S. has 267 billion short tons of coal reserves, or 27 percent of the world total. While it is imperative that we advance clean coal technologies, we cannot stop our use of coal prior to the technology becoming market viable. The Federal government needs to make a commitment to advancing clean coal technologies.

· John McCain Will Commit His Administration To A Prosperous Clean Technology Agenda And To Becoming The World Leader In Green Technologies. Americans have always been the world's leaders in innovation, and it's time for our economy to adapt and take an active role in the new green international economy.

Barack Obama Does Not Support Expanding Domestic Development Of Any Of Our Abundant Domestic Resources For Energy. Barack Obama believes we should keep all federal moratoriums in place for offshore exploration and does not support expanding the use of nuclear power. He has also been unclear about the role that coal will play in our energy future even though it is our most abundant domestic resource for energy production.

Taking Control Of The Pricing Of Oil

John McCain Believes We Must Understand The Role Speculation Is Playing In Our Soaring Energy Prices. Congress already has 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. To make sure it never happens 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.

John McCain Does Not Support A Windfall Profits Tax. A windfall profits tax on the oil companies will ultimately result in increasing our dependence on foreign oil and hinder investment in domestic exploration. Jimmy Carter put a windfall profits tax in to place with little to no useful results.

· Barack Obama Supports A Windfall Profits Tax. This type of tax is a recycled idea straight out of the Jimmy Carter Era that only increased imports, decreased domestic production and never delivered the promised revenue to the government.

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