Fiscal stability through energy independence

Monday, March 2, 2009

Since coming to Congress, I have had the honor of witnessing history being made on several occasions. Watching President Barack Obama deliver an address to a joint session of Congress recently was one of those moments.

On that night he struck the right tone between caution and optimism. I share President Obama's belief in our nation's ability to overcome today's challenges and I echo his call to get serious about fiscal responsibility. Getting our economy back on track needs to be our number one priority.

As we move to bring our country back onto the path of fiscal discipline, I challenge both the Administration and Congress to look to President Ronald Reagan's first term, when he produced a 50-page report, called the Initial Actions Project (IAP).

The IAP cautioned the Reagan White House to not take public confidence for granted, nor to fall into the trap of reacting to a weak economy by sanctioning misguided policies designed to shore up certain sectors of the economy. To quote the report, "we would essentially be reduced to reacting to events rather than shaping the economic agenda."

Now is the time to build the confidence of the American public and to proactively shape our country's economic agenda rather than simply reacting with more and more spending.

The economy continues to be the number one challenge facing our nation, and energy impacts virtually every sector of the economy. Quite simply, to quote the President, it all begins with energy.

As he noted, even though we have known our economic survival depends on finding new sources of energy, we are more reliant on foreign sources of energy than ever before. This is exactly why America must tap into our own resources to produce more energy and develop a cleaner, cheaper, more diverse energy portfolio.

At a time when families and businesses are struggling to make ends meet, the federal government has the responsibility to tap into the economic benefits which will come with domestic energy production. By moving forward on domestic energy production, we can bring down prices while at the same time granting relief to those struggling with their financial burdens.

Balancing our energy portfolio with every source of American energy on the table -- an "all of the above" approach -- is tremendously important for not only our national security, but also our economic security.

All domestic energy production would aid the economy by creating new, high-paying jobs, strengthening our economy. Meanwhile, additional energy resources would help lower oil and natural gas prices, doing wonders for consumer confidence. Our families and businesses are negatively impacted by high fuel costs, especially agriculture dependent economies like Nebraska's.

The potential for renewable energy is limitless. We have made great progress, but we need to develop more infrastructure and technology to improve the production and delivery of these resources.

As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, I have the opportunity to work with my colleagues on new ideas and technologies to strengthen our economy and provide long-term stability through the effective use of our domestic energy resources. I look forward to working on efforts to accelerate the expansion of wind and other renewable sources available in the Third District.

America will weather this economic storm, as we have done time and time again. We have the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson, and begin to take steps to ensure our energy portfolio will help ensure our nation's fiscal stability.

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  • We have only started to cross the river, and already the tiger has us convinced to set upon his nose.

    Learn to swim in the muck and slime of unpayable debt.

    Arley Steinhour

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 9:26 PM
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