Energy (October 2011)

Keep Americans warm this winter

The American people are hurting. A record-breaking 46 million Americans are living in poverty. Twenty-five million Americans need a full-time job. Nearly one out of four children in this country are living in poverty, and we now have the highest childhood poverty rate of any major advanced country on earth. Senior citizens on fixed incomes haven’t received a cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security benefits for two years in a row, even as healthcare and drug prices have soared. And as Vermonters and other Americans living in northern states are preparing for the winter, the cost of home heating oil is soaring.

Investing in energy technologies will increase US global competitiveness

In his State of the Union address this year, President Obama expressed his desire to find ways for the United States to “out-innovate, out-educate and out-build” our competitors abroad. I agree with his desire and I believe this is the best way for us to get America moving. Innovations in energy and vehicle technologies can carry our industries back into the position of worldwide leaders — we must get in gear to start leading the innovation charge before we are left behind by countries such as China and Japan.

Innovated in the US, made in China

America has always been the world’s innovator — it’s defined in our DNA. That’s why I’ve been particularly concerned by what I hear as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee: Our global economic rivals are cheering and our allies are perplexed by an America still relatively sitting on the sidelines in one important area that will define the global economy for years to come — clean energy.

We need ‘all of the above’ strategy for future of US energy production

There’s a constructive role for the federal government to play in expanding and diversifying America’s energy sources, but it is not the role we are seeing from the Obama administration. The Solyndra scandal is the most obvious example of an energy policy that has gone off course, but it is far from the only one. We need to move forward with an “all of the above” approach in which every potential contributor to solving the nation’s energy challenges is given the chance to succeed.