It’s clear that our haphazard and conflicting federal energy policies have failed – whether it’s the see-sawing price of gas at the pump, electrical bills, or the cost of home heating oil, we’re surrounded by signals that America needs a new and bold energy strategy. That’s why we need to move beyond partisan talking points when it comes to energy solutions – there’s no one-stop, silver-bullet solution to this problem. It’s going to take a smart, diverse approach on several fronts – more investments in renewable and alternatives, responsible development of homegrown energy supplies, and commonsense policies that will help us use power smarter and more efficiently.
That’s why I support a national standard to drive development of renewable power technologies like wind, solar, fuel cells, and alternative fuels – a policy Connecticut and dozens of other states have already passed on their own. I’ve also fought hard for landmark climate change legislation that will drive private sector investment in the clean energy systems of the future.
I also believe that federal policies should provide up-front assistance to homeowners and businesses who want to install money-saving energy efficiency upgrades (like weatherizing windows and replacing old boilers), and that we need to make it easier for big industrial power users to install Connecticut-made fuel cells that can supply clean power and take pressure off our transmission grid.
When it comes to gas prices, we need to face the facts: oil is priced on a global market, and the U.S. can’t unilaterally drive down gas prices overnight. However, we can take some commonsense steps to limit price swings at the pump. Firstly, financial regulators need the resources and tools to be able to police manipulative speculation in our energy markets, so that Wall Street traders can’t help drive up prices – and their profits – at the expense of consumers. We can also make sure that our cars achieve new milestones in fuel efficiency standards, so that we’re able to drive father on a gallon of gas.
Expanded domestic oil drilling should also be part of the solution, so long as we can ensure that proper environmental and wildlife protections and spill response measures are in place. I’ve led the fight to make sure that oil companies are producing oil on the thousands of acres of federal lands they’ve already leased but aren’t developing.
Put simply, strategies intended to end our dependence on oil represents the “holy grail” of federal policy. Investing in domestic, renewable energy will clean up our environment, reduce energy prices, stimulate a new “green” economy in the U.S., and allow our foreign policy to be dictated by our national security needs rather than our national energy needs.