National security is closely tied to an adequate and dependable domestic energy supply, NAM President John Engler and Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, argue today in a column in The Hill. Representing the Consumers Alliance for Energy Security, the two call for quick congressional action to open up U.S. coastal waters to energy exploration and development.
At a time when consensus on national issues is often elusive, one thing is clear: Americans are concerned about national security, they’re worried about energy, and they understand the link. Depending on unstable or unfriendly foreign nations for America’s energy, “investing” in such nations with our energy dollars, depriving the U.S. economy of the jobs and other benefits that accompany these “lost dollars” — these are unacceptable risks the nation needs to deal with, and fast.
The good news is that it is within the power of Congress to diminish America’s energy-related security risks. Because the United States has abundant energy supplies of its own, because federal policies determine access to these supplies, and because most of these energy supplies have been placed off-limits, policy change in this area can make a tremendous difference for the country. Congress faces an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen the nation’s security via its energy policy.
An extraordinary opportunity that Congress should seize ….now.
UPDATE: The Hill also reports on the state of play of OCS legislation today in this story.