In his remarks in the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama again called for a national focus on developing a long-term energy plan for America. I agree we should use every available American resource. I applaud President Obama for highlighting natural gas and for calling on Congress to better promote its use.
The expanded use of natural gas in America — in power generation and transportation — has enormous bipartisan support in the Congress and in the states. It is time to move from vague generalities to specifics on how we make this transition happen. I am confident that President Obama, as well as all the candidates for President, will lay out detailed plans on how they intend to achieve it.
We cannot solve the OPEC dependency crisis without a focus on transportation. It is two-thirds of all oil use. Oil is not a major player in the production of electricity so creating more energy from natural gas, hydro, wind, solar or nuclear will not have a major impact on our dependence on OPEC for our oil. Finding a substitute for oil as a major transportation fuel will.
We have massive amounts of natural gas reserves in the United States and we should immediately move to better utilize it. As a White House report on rebuilding our economy states, natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels.
America does not have a natural gas production problem — we are awash in natural gas. What we have is a demand problem and unless we bring both sides of the equation in balance, we will see this cleaner, cheaper, abundant, domestic resource exported in greater and greater quantities.
I hope the President and the Congress will call on American ingenuity and creativity to utilize all of our domestic resources. America is blessed with having the cheapest energy in the world right now. It is that cheap energy — including coal, oil and natural gas — that will not only fuel our factories, cars, and trucks, but will fuel the resurgence of manufacturing in America, while creating solid, well-paying, and permanent jobs.