The escalating costs of energy are burdening families and businesses across America with high electricity bills, gasoline prices, and home heating costs. Since January 2007, gas prices have increased by nearly 60 percent. In addition to the financial burden on many Americans, our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil raises critical issues of national and economic security.

Clearly, America needs energy independence, and I fully support expanding the use of renewable and alternative energy sources and production incentives, including consumer-based incentives for solar power, hybrid cars, and energy efficiency upgrades to existing homes. Additionally, I continue to support alternative energy research and development, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, loan guarantees for nuclear energy, and responsible exploration and production of oil and gas in Alaska and the outer continental shelf.

Unfortunately, House Democrats have a fundamentally different view of how America should seek energy independence. In this week’s blueprint for even higher energy prices (H.R. 5351), House Democrats propose to raise taxes on domestic energy production by nearly $18 billion, creating an additional incentive for importing foreign oil and making us more dependent on foreign energy sources.

Rather than simply providing additional incentives for renewable energy research and development, this legislation penalizes energy producers—a cost which will inevitably be passed along to energy consumers through even higher prices for gasoline and home heating.

Simply put, America cannot tax its way to lower energy prices and energy independence. If America is to achieve energy independence, Congress must offer tax incentives for domestic production of traditional and alternative energy sources—not tax increases and government intervention at the expense of the American people.