For some, the debate over energy sources is just another political skirmish.
For Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia, it’s a chance to enhance national security by eliminating America’s dependence on foreign oil.
"For far to long, the United States has been at the mercy of foreign nations for its fuel," said Kingston. "This dependence is one of our greatest risks because it not only threatens our national security, but also our economic security. American can and must do better. I have a plan to realize America’s fuel independence from Middle East oil by 2015."
During a press conference this morning Kingston stood with Rep. Eliot Engel (D.-N.Y.) in a bipartisan effort to showcase a bill they’re backing to make these proposals a reality: The Fuel Choices for America Security Act of 2005 (H.R. 4409).
Rep. Jack Kingston’s bill ends U.S. dependence on foreign oil
The bill proposes setting "aggressive, achievable goals for oil savings" to make independence possible. It also calls for "speeding entry of 21st Century vehicles to the public, and embracing new, clean fuel choices and bringing them to the market faster."
"What we really need to do is to change our policies," Engel said, because the "biggest looters" are the "big oil [companies]…laughing all the way to the bank."
"They ought to be ashamed of themselves," he added.
Kingston appears to have a different take on the oil industry, according to his op-ed posted today at Townhall.com.
Now I am not taking cheap shots at oil or oil companies. They provide the life-blood of the American economy and will continue to do so throughout this "Second American Century." We need a stable supply of oil and gasoline and should take full and responsible advantage of our own domestic reserves.
And contrary to what you might hear on the evening news, oil companies don’t set the price of oil, they "take" the price the market will bear. As long as the growing global demand for more than 83 million barrels per day keeps upward pressure on a global supply of about the same 83 million barrels per day — the price of oil and therefore gasoline will continue to be high and volatile. And as nearly 2 billion people in China and India trade in their bicycles and mules for the cars and trucks of the developed world, this upward pressure on price will only get worse.
Other House members who participated in today’s press conference included Sue Kelly (R.-N.Y.), Joe Wilson (R.-S.C.), Steve Chabot (R.-Ohio) and Jerry Weller (R.-Ill.).
Wilson hailed H.R. 4409 as "a realistic piece of legislation" that will serve America as a long-term solution by "[p]roviding tax credits to consumers who purchase hybrid vehicles, encouraging manufacturers to produce more efficient lightweight materials, and establishing goals to replace ten percent of gasoline with Ethanol in ten years…"
And Weller used much of his press time to promote an energy bill of his own.
"Congress needs legislation which reduces our dependence on foreign petroleum imports in favor of home-brown products like ethanol and soy diesel," he said. "My Biofuels Act of 2006 (H.R. 4573) would in less than 20 years raise our daily usage of these products to 1.6 million barrels a day, which is more than we important from Saudi Arabia or Venezuela."
Despite the fact that phrases such as "addiction to oil" and bio-fuels such as "grass" (as in switch grass?) were mentioned during today’s press conference, the fact that HUMAN EVENTS "2005 Man of the Year" Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) is one of the many co-sponsors of Kingston’s bill is reassuring.
Kingston said House leadership is aware of the bill and that immediate measures could be taken as early as next week. He said the bill already has 15 bipartisan co-sponsors in the Senate.