I believe energy conservation and efficiency can help us to reduce our oil consumption, but until alternative energy sources, such as hydrogen, are up and running, we must ensure that our policies encourage domestic production of traditional sources as well. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I will continue to push for energy policies that will ensure energy is safe and affordable and keeps jobs in America.
The United States has vast supplies of domestic energy that should be explored. Today, the US imports nearly 60% of its oil, and most comes from the Middle East and politically unstable nations. I believe that energy exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf is an important component of comprehensive energy legislation. At the same time, it is important that we find the right balance between exploration and protecting our wilderness and wildlife.
Alternative energy sources will be an important source of power in the future, and Texas’ 26th Congressional District has been a leader in alternative energy – from a company that manufactures solar panels in Keller and another that manufactures wind turbine blades in Gainesville. Biogas created at the City of Denton Landfill powers a biodiesel manufacturing facility. The Lake Dallas Independent School District uses geothermal energy to heat and cool their schools. Peterbilt Motors Company, a leader in creating energy-efficient trucks, is headquartered in Denton.
I believe that the expansion of the EnergyStar program and hybrid and alternative fueled vehicle provisions play an important role in domestic energy security and in cleaning our environment. I drive a hybrid vehicle myself, and have taken several steps to make my home more energy-efficient. In additional I host an annual Energy Efficiency and Conservation Summit and Fair.
Conservation is an often-overlooked area where each person can do his or her part to save energy. It can be as easy as making sure that car tires are properly inflated, installing energy-efficient light bulbs at home or at work, or buying EnergyStar products. Conservation not only saves energy, but also saves money.
Likewise, the Barnett Shale has an important role in moving the U.S. toward cleaner, abundant sources of energy. Moreover, the Barnett Shale has been a tremendous source of economic stability in the region, keeping North Texas from feeling the effects of the recession long after much of the country was fully ensnared in economic troubles. Development and production of this resource must be done smartly, and I have worked with state and federal agencies to ensure proper air and water monitoring is in place so that all residents may feel safe that their health and environment is being protected.
Ultimately, my hope is that Congress does not step in the way of innovation and technology, but promotes all forms of energy that are inexpensive, safe, and reliable. Our nation's demand for energy is only going to increase, and I believe we should work towards an energy-independent United States, because in the 21st Century, energy independence is a national security issue.
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U.S. Department of Energy
Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy and Money at Home
Home Energy Saver
Tips for Conserving Fuel
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