As the price of oil continues to climb, maybe Congress will decide it's time to get something done.
Another priority that Congress has failed to meet is energy. Leaders of both parties understand that America's dependence on oil creates problems for our economy, and our environment, and our national security. When they were elected last November, majority leaders in Congress promised to pass an energy bill to reduce our dependence on oil. I consulted with members of both parties -- and in my State of the Union address, I proposed a plan to reduce America's gasoline consumption by 20 percent over 10 years. I call this plan 20-in-10, and asked Congress to pass it by beginning of the summer driving season.
Now the summer driving season is over; the price of oil has jumped to nearly $100 a barrel, and Congress has not acted. America clearly needs legislation that expands the use of ethanol and biodiesel, promotes energy conservation, invests in advanced technologies like clean coal and nuclear power. Listen, breaking our reliance on oil and gas is not going to happen overnight.
Congress should also authorize environmentally responsible oil exploration offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. American consumers and businesses are looking to Washington for action on this issue. And Congress needs to pass a bill that encourages the development of more energy, that makes us less dependent on foreign sources of oil, and they need to do it now.
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