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A  21st century energy policy is critical to a strong America. To make that plan a reality, we must end our dependence on fossil fuels. As a member of the House Caucus on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, I will support legislation that reduces our country’s reliance on fossil fuels and encourages the use of clean, sustainable energy sources, like wind, hydroelectric, biomass, and solar energies. I will challenge counter-productive energy policies that harm our environment and subsidize our current dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil.

The transformation to renewable energy sources will help revive the economy and spur job creation. The U.S. is falling behind the world in developing these still-nascent technologies, and consequently missing many opportunities. In fact, much of the green technology that we do use is already manufactured overseas. We need to aggressively secure our position as a valuable, capable manufacturer and producer of green energy technology before we are left out of the market completely. Currently only 8 percent of our energy comes from renewable resources while China has installed more wind turbines in 2010 than the United States, European Union and India combined. There is no doubt that change is coming; America needs to be at the forefront of this energy revolution.

An overhaul of our country’s energy policy cannot consist of only production incentives. In the energy debates occurring in previous Congresses, I have called for corporate responsibility of industries that produce products that are highly dependent on oil and gas.  I have also introduced legislation to end tax benefits for cleaning up oil spills, a move that would save our country over a billion dollars per year.

A sound energy policy must be multifaceted and include measures that incentivize end-user adoption of energy-conserving practices. To help individual Americans do their part, I co-sponsored legislation to help property owners retrofit their property with energy-conservation technology. To have a 21st century energy policy, we must possess efficient consumer practices as well.

We must also remember how clearly the BP oil spill demonstrates the follies of continuing an energy policy that includes drilling for oil and gas off our country’s shores. The future of America depends on a smart, responsive energy policy and I am committed to achieving just that.

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