Upton seeks energy policy based on abundance

The leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said he is working to shift the United States’ energy policy to one based on an abundance of resources, from one based on scarcity.

In a speech at the Energy Information Administration’s annual conference, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) declared that the days of scarce energy resources, exemplified when President Jimmy Carter declared in 1977 that the country was running out of oil and gas, are over.

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Instead, the United States is producing historically high levels of oil and gas, Upton said.

“We need to construct a whole range of tools to take full advantage of our energy abundance. We need to better connect these resources to the people who need them,” Upton said, according to his prepared remarks.

“And we need to do it in a safe and responsible way that protects the environment,” he said. “It’s about building infrastructure, yes, but it’s about much more.”

Upton said his policies are centered on five “pillars”: modernizing infrastructure, diverse electricity generation, permitting for manufacturing facilities, efficiency and energy diplomacy. The Energy and Commerce Committee has passed legislation on all of those areas, he said.

“America has a lot to gain if we put the right energy policies into place: jobs and economic growth, cheaper energy and products for the middle class and particularly for the most vulnerable, and a stronger position in the world,” Upton said.