Presidential Candidates United on Energy

By May 13, 2008Energy

As the three major Presidential candidates continue on the campaign trail, one similarity among them stands out: None has outlined a comprehensive plan to address the rising cost of energy. Despite significant gains in reducing our energy intensity, our economy requires additional supplies of energy. Nor has any of the major presidential candidates voiced support for increasing our energy supplies by expanding our own U.S. domestic production. A recent Barron’s article highlights that: “There are an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that technically is recoverable. The government says 54% of that energy is in the Gulf of Mexico and 31% is off Alaska.” Recent estimates from the Department of the Interior have determined that the OCS has enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for 60 years, and enough oil to drive 85 million cars for 35 years.

The detrimental impact of our reliance on foreign sources of energy was made even more clear with last week’s trade figures that show that more than half of our trade deficit in goods and services results from petroleum.

However, some in Congress do understand the urgency of securing domestic sources of energy. Just yesterday the NAM sent a Key Vote Letter to Congress in support of the McConnell Energy Amendment (SA 4720) to S. 2284, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act. Senator McConnell understands that expanded domestic supply of oil and natural gas will create and preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs here in the United States. Allowing access to our own vast supplies of energy in areas like ANWR and the OCS are necessary to bring down costs to manufacturers and other consumers. Addressing the need to curb rising energy costs should be something upon which we all can agree.

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