A National Security Issue in Reducing Oil Dependence (Rep. Eliot Engel)

As President Obama begins the daunting task of addressing our nation's problems on the first full day of his Administration, he and his National Security Advisors (NSA) have many key issues to consider. While we have men and women in our armed services in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, the NSA team has to act quickly and decisively to ensure their safety and the safety of all Americans. I also encourage the President to focus on the vital role that energy policy has in relation to our national security.

Excessive dependence on foreign oil is one of the greatest challenges that our nation has ever faced. Our national security, economy and environment are all tied to it. We must break our addiction to foreign oil and we must do it promptly. By improving our nation's energy system and methods of consumption we can usher in a brand new era in our history, one where we are not forced to rely on the whims of oil-producing nations and the tyrants that lead many of them.

As the Co-Chair of the Oil and National Security Caucus, I believe our national security and energy independence are completely inseparable. Our Caucus is a bipartisan effort designed to raise awareness of the economic and security implications of America's growing dependence on foreign oil.

We must work to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We must grow our economy by protecting existing jobs and creating new ones. And we must build a clean energy future that benefits all citizens. I support the following items that will help us reach that goal:

  • Oil Savings Plan to reduce oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels of oil per day by 2015, increasing annually to 5 million barrels per day by 2025.

  • Open Fuel Standards Act to encourage the production of flex fuel vehicles.

  • Imported Ethanol Facilitation Act to help supply the U.S. with alcohol-based fuels

  • Creation of green jobs and improved electric transportation


President Obama has many items on his plate which deserve attention. By realizing the link between our energy policy and national security, President Obama will not only accomplish some of his and Congress' goals, but help keep America safe, strong and independent of hostile foreign oil sources. I will work diligently to help him achieve this important goal.