Shortsightedness and political expediency all too often inhibit long-term economic growth and market stability. Our economy needs to be healed, not bandaged with dressings that are changed every fiscal quarter or two-year election cycle. In other words, it is time to look beyond short-term political comfort to long-term economic health.

Regardless of political party or biases against particular industry sectors, petroleum and petroleum-based products will play a major role in improving and sustaining our economy. The nearly two million Americans of the domestic oil, refining and petrochemical community provide the basic building blocks and materials for other domestic manufacturers outside the oil patch states. To continue supplying consumers with the fuels they need and the feedstocks manufacturers require to produce everything from aspirin to asphalt and safety glass to soap, the nation must be assured of an adequate supply of oil, and, in these globally turbulent times, must be assured of supplies within or in close proximity to our borders.

Last year, Congress appropriately allowed the moratorium on offshore development to expire without renewal. Today, however, there seems to be renewed hesitancy by some in Congress and the new Administration to continue down this critical path toward enhanced energy security. Limitations on domestic oil shale exploration, lease modifications and opposition to Canadian oil sands are not creating the policy certainty American producers and refiners must have to make long-term investments. Given the nation’s reliance on petroleum products projected for the next several decades as the transition to additional products continues, we can ill afford to neglect the resources we have readily available at this moment.

An overwhelming majority of Americans support increased domestic exploration in the name of energy security. Shouldn’t Congress act on their wishes?