When Congress returns from recess and begins to tackle energy and climate legislation, lawmakers must recognize that nothing short of comprehensive reform will adequately address the energy challenges facing the U.S. Those challenges are examined in a new report from the nonpartisan Reform Institute, Reforming American Energy: Overcoming Reliance and Ensuring Reliability.

In assessing the extent of the problem and laying out all the options we can develop a comprehensive energy policy that strengthens the nation. However, this will only occur if we can all put aside partisan and parochial interests and constructively discuss the situation and what needs to be done. For the sake of our national security, economy, and energy and environmental sustainability we must chart a new direction in U.S. energy policy.

By diversifying our energy supply and sensibly taking advantage of the resources available in the U.S. we can create a more resilient energy system able to withstand the disruption in the supply of any one source of energy. The report identifies three critical components of enhancing U.S. energy resilience: reform in the transportation sector that promotes alternative fuel vehicles, fuel efficiency and telecommuting as a means to reduce reliance on petroleum; expanding and modernizing the outmoded U.S. electrical grid in order to facilitate the wider use of alternative energy such as wind, solar, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; and producing more energy domestically from a variety of sources.

The report will inform the discussion at a national energy symposium the Reform Institute will convene in Washington, DC on April 21. Initiating an informed dialogue between diverse constituencies is the first step in addressing our energy challenges.

Through innovations that promote efficiency and energy alternatives, collaboration among a variety of interests, and leadership in the best interest of the country, we can create a more resilient nation and a sustainable future.

Energy Reform Final