An Energy Plan that
Works for Michigan
Energy is the
lifeblood of our economy. It powers our homes, industries, vehicles, and
everything from the iPods in our pockets to the backyard grill. We need a balanced energy plan that plays to
our nation’s – and Michigan’s – strengths.
Of course, we need
robust oil and gas production in this country.
But that is happening now.
Domestic oil production is at an 18-year high, and U.S. natural gas
production is at an all-time high. Net
oil imports have fallen from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent today. And the Administration continues to make
millions of acres of public lands available for oil and gas development. Indeed, oil and gas companies are sitting on
nearly two-thirds of public lands they have leased.
But drilling will
only get us so far. The U.S. consumes 22
percent of the world’s oil, yet we produce only a fraction of that here at
home. Also, oil is not without
environmental problems as we saw two years ago in the massive Deepwater Horizon
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the 2010 Enbridge Pipeline spill that
fouled the Kalamazoo River with more than 19,000 barrels of oil.
So we also need to
drill into our vast reserves of American ingenuity and develop technologies
that allow us to use less energy. Since
70 percent of the oil we consume every year goes for transportation, increasing
vehicle fuel economy over time can have a real impact on both U.S. energy
security and consumer’s wallets.
In 2011, the federal
government and the auto industry agreed to boost the average fuel economy of
cars and light trucks to 54 mpg by 2025.
These new standards will cut our oil dependence, reducing oil
consumption by an estimated 2.2 million barrels a day in 2025. Meeting this goal plays to Michigan’s
strengths in vehicle design and manufacturing.
will increasingly come from the sun, wind, biofuels, hybrid technology, and
other resources we are just beginning to harness. Governments in China,
Japan, Korea and other countries are racing to help their own industries
dominate these areas. The U.S. can’t
afford to fall behind. As just one
example, most of the advanced battery technology was actually invented in the
United States. The battery manufacturing jobs should be here, too.
also need to continue to invest in advanced vehicle technologies. Rep. Levin has sponsored legislation [H.R.
500] to expand the production and use of advanced vehicles, like the Chevy
Volt. He also supports efforts to spur
the deployment of clean energy and energy tax credits to encourage advanced