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Let's Make Energy Independence A Reality

Stephen A. Labate is a financial planner and army veteran who is running for Congress in New York's Third Congressional District.

For decades, achieving energy independence has been the rallying cry of both Democrats and Republicans in Washington and across the country. Rising demand for oil from countries such as India and China, combined with increased tensions in the Middle East have been catalysts for rising prices at the pump. There is no question that America’s dependence on foreign oil is a major threat to our economy and national security, and a coherent solution must be found to mitigate these threats.

Thirty years ago, we imported 28 percent of our oil. Today, we import 70 percent, despite the fact that we have vast untapped energy resources below American soil. One quarter of the worlds coal reserves are found within the United States, there are an estimated 1 trillion barrels of oil, and an immeasurable supply of natural gas hidden deep within the shale rock below the earths surface.  Unfortunately, excessive regulation and restrictions on the extraction of these precious resources has meant we’re no closer to ending our dependence on foreign oil.

The Obama Administration’s subsidizing of companies like Solyndra and Beacon Energy Corp. are prime examples of energy solutions that don’t work. Rather than focusing on increasing production, the Obama Administration has focused on partisan policies such as eliminating tax subsidies for American oil and natural gas industries and promoting renewable energy. 

My opponent, Congressman Steve Israel has been instrumental in preventing an increase in energy production in this country, and promoting partisan politics. Yesterday, Congressman Israel voted against a bill called the Strategic Energy Production Act, which would advance a plan to increase oil and gas exploration, development, and production under oil and gas leases of Federal lands. Congressman Israel also voted to prevent offshore and intercontinental drilling, as well as voting against the job creating Keystone XL Pipeline plan. 

We are the country that landed a man on the moon, and we certainly can be the country to achieve energy independence. As your Congressman I will work with any member of Congress who says yes to domestic energy production. It is my intent to work within Congress to reduce the amount of oil we import from foreign countries from 70% to at least 50% in the next eight years.

In order to accomplish this, what we need is a diversified “all-of-the-above” approach, which takes advantage of all potential energy sources, including wind, nuclear, solar, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, clean coal, domestic oil, and natural gas. We must also reduce government barriers, which prevent the development of these energy sources.  

Unleashing our vast supplies of energy resources for development will reduce our energy costs, create millions of new jobs, stimulate our economy, and once and for all end the threat to our economy and national security that is caused by our dependence on foreign oil. It’s time to make energy independence more than a slogan. It’s time to make energy independence a reality. 

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Goin' Commando June 24, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Well, this is just another example of what we get for allowing corporate money to heavily influence the Washington process. Every Administration and every Congress, Democrat and Republican, has let corporate lobbyists help write legislation. And now we have the Bush/Reagan-dominated Supreme Court allowing, through their Citizens United ruling, corporate donations to dominate the political process and influence the national election. End the influence of corporate (or union) lobbyists. Stop donations to elections, or Super PAC's, from corporations (or unions). Otherwise, you'll end up with the same kind of flawed legislation, no matter how good the intent, and no matter whether it's the Democrats or the Republicans in charge at the time.
Eileen Coles June 24, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Nancy, if you're tired of hateful and offensive commentary, here's a novel idea and something you can actually do about it: shut up. :)
Chuck June 24, 2012 at 10:22 PM
The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (Stimulus) was passed in February of 2009. The Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United came in January of 2010. Is there a connection between that decision and a bill written a year earlier? The legislation was flawed because either: 1) the people writing the bill were incompetent legislators, or 2) the people writing the bill were purposely carving loopholes, making them corrupt. If incumbents have had an unobstructed path in writing major legislation, and have written bad laws they are either incompetent or corrupt. The nation was founded by citizen legislators. It was a good idea then, and a good idea now.
Nassau Taxpayer June 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM
"Natural gas companies gambling on shale gas have been facing prices so low - far below the cost of production - that all of them have been producing gas unprofitably. The financial risk has been increasing dramatically as the companies have been drowning in debt trying to ride out the rock bottom prices that have been the result of people believing the fantasy. Finally, casualties of the financial shenanigans involved are emerging (n.b. the Chesapeake fiasco). It is very likely that there will be many more, as companies that have tried to ride out the low prices go under." Quit sucking on the gas pipe. Beware more dead money in natural gas euphoria: <http://www.businessinsider.com/north-america-is-poised-for-huge-natural-gas-shock-2012-6>
Robert Dann June 26, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Name me (5) things Israel has done over his tenure in office that warrants his re-election and I will name you (10) that warrants his defeat!

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