Thursday, June 23, 2011

Renewable Energy Is A Conservative Issue

Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee Energy and Minerals Subcommittee has a hearing scheduled to address four bills in respect to renewable energy.

HR 2170 (D. Hastings), Streamlining Federal review to facilitate renewable energy projects, "Cutting Federal Red Tape to Facilitate Renewable Energy Act"
HR 2171 (Labrador), To promote timely exploration for geothermal resources under existing geothermal leases, and for other purposes, "Exploring for Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act"
HR 2172 (Noem), To facilitate the development of wind energy resources on Federal lands, "Utilizing America’s Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act"
HR 2173 (Wittman), To facilitate the development of offshore wind energy resources, "Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act"

Renewable energy, you say? Yes. Don't scoff. Supporting renewable energy initiatives is a perfectly natural position for a conservative to take. The key is found in this current legislation being hashed out. Instead of looking to big government solutions, as the Democrats are so fond of, let's support smart solutions. Let's encourage energy producers from all sections of the market to modernize facilities and keep current on the latest technologies available by streamlining the process that can bog down initiatives for months and years unnecessarily. Instead of huge amounts of taxpayer monies being doled out to favored green energy producers, as we find in politics, let's keep the playing field even and encourage it the old fashioned way - let's streamline the process and get the overabundance of red tape out of the way.

“Too often renewable energy projects get caught up in government red-tape and it can take years to break free. Our goal should be to encourage the production of renewable energy, not impose duplicative regulations that cause years of delays. These bills are necessary in order to facilitate the development of clean, renewable energy and provide a clear, simple process for completing important environmental reviews,” said Chairman Hastings.

As conservatives, we give lip service to an all-of-the-above approach to energy production so that we may be self sufficient. This means renewable energy, too. There is a place for wind, solar, and geothermal energy production to meet our country's energy needs. Unlike the far left of the political field, we conservatives should be supporting all of the renewable energy efforts in tandem with supporting increased oil and gas drilling and production. All-of-the-above, not everything but oil and natural gas. That is the common sense way forward.

Conservatives have led the way in conservation and energy policy for decades. Whether it is the Clean Air Act legislation or the largest marine reserve preserved, Republican leadership has been a good steward for our country's natural resources. It is time to communicate a strong message that conservatives support renewable energy initiatives, too.

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