Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gary Trauner's statement on energy issues

From Gary Trauner's U.S. House campaign:


Since the day I started running for Wyoming's lone seat in the US House, I have been saying that the search for sustainable energy independence is the issue of our time. It affects our national security, our economy, our environment and the legacy we leave to future generations.

But over the past four months, as I have continued to campaign door to door, community to community, I have heard countless stories of the incredible burden that out of control gas prices have put on Wyoming's families, businesses, and particularly, seniors on fixed incomes.

As I attended forum after forum during the primary season, most of my opponents embraced the simple slogan of "Drill Here, Drill Now." That's not enough.

Some of them also mentioned diversifying our energy sources. That's not enough, either.

The key issue of our time is for America to break what President Bush called in his 2006 State of the Union address, "our addiction to oil."

To do that, we must bridge the gap with the energy sources of today to get to the energy sources of tomorrow. With diesel right here at this station [Ghost Town Gas Station, Casper, Wy Diesel $4.19] over four dollars a gallon, our choice has already been made for us. Yet, it is going to take leadership, honesty, straight talk and tough choices to achieve our goals.

That's why simple slogans like "Drill Here, Drill Now" won't get it done. How many of you know that nearly 1/3 of the oil taken from under American territory every day is sent overseas to foreign countries? That's right – everyday, 1.6 million barrels of American oil and petroleum products goes to foreign countries. American oil that could be filling our trucks, heating our homes, and fueling our nation.

Giving new leases to energy companies - without holding them accountable - only puts money in their pocket, and doesn't bring down the price of gas. After all, there are millions of leased acres today that are not being used or even explored.

My proposal has three key elements: Short-term, long-term and immediate action.

In the short term, at the risk of repeating myself, "Drill Here Drill Now" is not good enough; What we need is "American oil for the American people", or if you like "Drill Here. Sell Here. Now." It's really pretty simple. I propose that Congress approve new leases under the following conditions to ensure accountability:
o One, every drop of oil drilled under American soil and American waters must go to the American people.
o Two, just like our coal leases, use it or lose it. If oil companies don't drill in a reasonable amount of time, then we'll find someone who will.

That's to help bridge the gap, but as Oil Tycoon Boone Pickens says, "This is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."

So we must have a long-term strategy too that is more than paying lip service to energy diversity, because that's not good enough either. Therefore, any legislation to allow new leases or to open up new areas to drilling must also be coupled with an "Apollo moon" type of project for long-term energy independence.

This means a firm and lasting commitment from our federal government to work in partnership with private enterprise to provide the policy framework, regulatory certainty and market incentives to encourage, research, develop, and financially support a diverse range of alternative fuel sources.

Let me be clear: government should not and must not dictate which specific sources of energy are the long-term answers. In fact, the answer truly lies in diversity.

We need to explore everything from clean coal technologies (including carbon sequestration to rejuvenate tired oil and gas fields), to wind power, solar power, biofuels, hydrogen, and sources yet unknown. Conservation, and energy efficiency in our appliances, vehicles and buildings are also critical aspects of this firm and lasting commitment.

Finally, we need immediate action, to reign in out of control gas prices. Therefore, we must immediately use all the tools at our disposal to bring down the price of gas. These include:
o Reigning in and properly overseeing speculators who manipulate the futures markets solely for financial gain;
o Acting now to materially increase fuel economy standards;
o Providing market certainty by restoring the expired tax credits for wind & solar that are currently being held up by political posturing in DC, while incentivize other forms of alternative energy; and
o Putting more money in Americans' pockets by eliminating unnecessary tax breaks and subsidies to the most profitable companies in the history of the world.

Taken together, these steps will bring down the price of gas and groceries; allow us to take back our national and economic security from dictatorships like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iran; and ensure a lasting legacy for future generations.

There will be resistance to change - there always is. We must also remember that the politics of simple slogans solves nothing. And it won't help make gas more affordable for a rancher filling up his tractor or a miner driving to work. As Charles F. Mason, the H.A. 'Dave' True Jr. professor of petroleum and natural gas economics at the University of Wyoming, said in the Casper Star on June 15, "the notion that the nation could simply drill more wells to become 'independent' of foreign oil imports simply isn't realistic. 'It's a myth,' He went on to say, and I quote: "It's a great place to make a stand if a politician is up for re-election. But realistically, I don't see that as having a significant impact."

My vision will have a significant impact by turning adversity into opportunity and recognizing what has made America great over the years: properly utilizing the role of government to help guide and unleash the power of private enterprise to solve complex issues. Taking these steps will immediately relieve the pain and the pump, continue to grow high quality jobs here in Wyoming and ensure the best jobs for our children in the economy of the 21st are right out their back door here in Wyoming.

1 comment:

JudyDarby said...

How much does the state get from Big Oil in the way of severance taxes and royalty payments? What does the state do with the money? How much does the revenue department project those payments to be 2008-2011 and if elected and you manage to limit further exploration, how would you make up the difference?