Tackling our nation’s energy crisis will require a broad and comprehensive strategy that includes pursuing all forms of energy including wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and coal. I will continue to strongly support the development of renewable energy sources that reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create new, innovative green jobs for Hoosiers. Since coming to Congress, I have had an opportunity to vote on a wide range of progressive energy bills that seek to create jobs, increase domestic energy production and protect our environment.
Opposing Harmful Deregulation
Over the last several years, oil spills and mine collapses have demonstrated the dangers of deregulation. These dangers become even clearer when considering the millions of Americans who are suffering from diseases ranging from cancer to asthma because of pollutants in our air and water.
We need to eliminate redundant and overly burdensome regulation. But reasonable, scientifically developed regulation is critical to protecting lives, the environment and the American economy. Regulations ensure that unreasonable risks are not being taken and that energy is being produced as responsibly and cleanly as possible. Unfortunately, many in Congress have decided to focus on eliminating many of the most important EPA and Clean Air Act regulations that protect the American public. I have and will continue to oppose legislation that puts my constituents at risk.
Supporting Creation of Green Jobs
Today, companies around the world are finding ways to make everything from cars to power plants cleaner and more energy efficient. The demand for green products is greater than ever before and recent trends seem to show that this will only increase over time. This is why I proudly support annual efforts to increase funding for initiatives that provide job training to workers looking for employment in green industries. I also look to provide assistance to local businesses that are looking to create jobs through the development and sale of green products. Whether through support for grant application or promotion of critical legislation in Congress, I hope that my efforts will help put people to work in growing green industries.
Promoting Cleaner, More Efficient Fuels
Today, over 80% of American energy comes from petroleum, coal and natural gas. Clearly, these will remain our primary energy sources into the foreseeable future, so I believe it is critical for us to continue investing in technologies to make them cleaner, cheaper and more efficient.
I am also a strong supporter of an “all in” approach to American energy, which seeks to improve petroleum, coal and natural gas technologies while prioritizing research into renewable sources of energy like wind, solar, hydro, nuclear and geothermal. These new technologies will ensure that our future is not tied to unstable oil producers abroad and our large, but limited, supply of coal and natural gas.
Increasing Domestic Energy Production
Over the past several years, domestic oil and gas production has increased dramatically, contributing to the low prices we see today. Our domestic energy industry is playing a critical role in reducing our reliance on unstable foreign sources of energy. Unfortunately, some argue that in order to support our domestic energy industry, we need to dismantle health, safety and environmental protections and divert funding from innovative new projects.
I believe this is shortsighted and not in our national interest. Instead, we should be focusing on setting policies that maintain these critical protections and investments in innovation, without crippling the progress we have already made to increase domestic production.
In a time of unpredictable energy costs, far too many Americans have trouble covering the cost of their heating and cooling bills. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has given critical assistance to many low income families, including thousands across Indianapolis, helping them to cover their bills during times of financial struggle.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) works side by side with LIHEAP by helping low income families install energy efficient heaters, air conditioners, insulation and windows. This program lowers energy bills and helps Hoosier families keep safe and healthy during hot summers and cold winters.
I believe that LIHEAP and WAP are absolutely critical and will continue to support expanded funding of both programs.