Still Time for Energy Independence

Mar 10, 2011
Still Time for Energy Independence

(WASHINGTON, DC) - The turmoil in the Middle East is affecting us here in East Alabama.  We see coverage on the news, talk about the unrest in the coffee shop, but we see and feel it at gas pump. 

According to AAA as of writing, gasoline prices are up 76 cents from a year ago and 41 cents from a month ago.
I have said this for years: we as a nation cannot continue to live with these unstable prices to fill up our vehicles and power our economy.  The time to lessen our dependence on other countries like those in the Middle East for our energy sources is now.
During these tough economic times, folks across East Alabama are already tightening their belts and paying more at the gas station is something folks just cannot afford.
It’s an issue of national security. In 2008, I introduced the FREE Act (Furthering Renewable Energy Exploration). 
Under this legislation the ban on energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) would be lifted, and all federal royalties and taxes collected from the drilling would be directed into a new renewable fuels research and development fund.
This trust fund would be used only for research and development of alternative energy to help our country become energy independent.
For example, East Alabama is home to many outstanding schools and universities. 
We could use the talented researchers at great schools like Auburn University or Tuskegee University and those like them across the country to help develop the next generation of battery technology, commercially viable synthetic gasoline or a more fuel-efficient ethanol with the money we set aside in the trust.
The funding would come out of the trust fund made up of the federal share of royalties as a result of exploration.
It’s all common sense and home grown right here in the U.S.A. That means jobs, jobs, jobs.
This year, I again plan to reintroduce this bill to help advance this debate. The United States must act now on becoming energy independent.
As always, feel free to contact me on this or any issue at, become a fan on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter at RepMikeRogersAL and subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.