Contrary to President Obama, House Republicans support a true all-of-the-above energy strategy that will create jobs, improve the economy, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. The strategy set forth by House Republicans would ensure that America can take full advantage of the nation’s vast energy resources. It includes the development of American oil and natural gas, alternative energy sources such as solar, hydropower, wind, and nuclear, and the continued development of clean coal.
House Republicans are opposed to unnecessary, burdensome regulations and are working to increase access to America’s energy resources by opening federal lands and expanding both onshore and offshore drilling. The Republican all-of-the-above strategy also supports continued advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—technologies that have put America on the path to becoming the main supplier of natural gas in the world.
Oil and Natural Gas
A recent reassessment of oil and natural gas resources in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana revealed double the amount of oil and triple the amount of natural gas previously estimated. These new discoveries—accessible through technologies including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—will further stimulate America’s oil and natural gas renaissance, creating jobs and building the U.S. economy. However, while production overall has increased, oil and natural gas production on federal lands has dropped in recent years because of burdensome government regulations. Republicans support increasing access to America’s tremendous supply of oil and natural gas in order to create jobs and get the American economy moving again.
Coal has long been one of America’s most important energy sources, comprising 37% of the electricity generated in the United States in 2012. The coal industry has created thousands of jobs and sustained local economies for decades, while producing affordable energy from an abundant resource. Coal plants have become significantly cleaner in the last 40 years, burning coal more efficiently while reducing emissions. Republicans support the improvements made to coal plants and encourage the continued effort of the coal industry to develop more environmentally-friendly technology.
Nuclear energy is a vital component in developing an all-of-the-above energy strategy. Construction of nuclear reactors will provide Americans access to clean, reliable energy at competitive costs. The U.S. receives 20% of its electricity and 73% of its carbon-free electricity from nuclear power, yet no new reactors have been ordered since 1978. Republicans support the responsible construction of environmentally-friendly, technologically-advanced nuclear reactors which will spur economic growth and create jobs.
Geothermal, Wind, and Solar
Alternative, renewable energy solutions are becoming increasingly realistic due to technological advancement and innovation. The United States should take an active role in this potential boom, expanding opportunities for renewable energy production – such as wind, geothermal and solar, on both onshore and offshore federal lands. Improving access will create new jobs and provide new opportunities for American-made energy. Republicans support market-driven and market-oriented renewable energy solutions that provide clean, competitive energy resources to all Americans. However, the federal government should not be involved in picking winners and losers in the energy industry and take unnecessary risks with American tax dollars.
Hydroelectric power is the largest source of clean, renewable energy in the United States, accounting for 7.1% of the nation’s power production. It is a non-emitting, completely renewable source of energy that creates thousands of jobs and provides power to millions of Americans at a low cost. Only 3 % of the 80,000 dams in the United States generate electricity, and a study by the National Hydropower Association found that hydropower production in America could be doubled without building a single dam, simply by investing in new technologies. Republicans support the continued use and expansion of hydroelectric resources and support designating all hydropower as a renewable energy source according to federal legal and regulatory standards.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) the U.S. holds more than half of the world’s oil shale resources. Estimates in April of 2009 showed the region may hold more than 1.5 trillion barrels of oil—six times Saudi Arabia’s proven resources, and enough to provide the United States with energy for the next 200 years. Republicans support expanding production of oil shale, one of our country’s most viable new energy sources.
Research and Development
Much of America’s economic strength is derived from the intuition and innovation of those in science and technology community. In order to maintain the momentum of the current rebirth of American energy, investing in education and R&D should be a priority. It is important that the U.S. continues to educate and incentivize American youth to enter into the fields of science and technology, developing innovative solutions to today’s most pressing energy problems. Republicans will continue to support research and development efforts within the U.S. that will facilitate a domestic energy and manufacturing renaissance.
Increased Access to Offshore Energy Resources
Off-Shore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, producing millions of barrels of domestically-produced crude oil. The administration’s de-facto moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico threatens one of our most thriving and prosperous industries. Republicans support expanded leasing and permitting on the OCS, increasing access to domestic energy reserves and decreasing the uncertainty that American energy companies have recently experienced.
Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) holds some of the country’s most vast oil reserves. Republicans support an expanded role for responsible on-shore drilling in ANWR. By permitting drilling, the United States can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, help reduce the federal deficit, create American jobs, and increase our national security.