America needs a comprehensive national energy plan that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and ensures we have access to reliable, affordable and cleaner domestic energy. Ohio can play a key role in that plan by recognizing and harnessing the power of Ohio's natural resources - including natural gas, coal, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, oil, and bio-mass - and matching them with our skilled workforce, advanced technologies, and strong research and manufacturing capabilities in a way that creates more jobs and opportunities for Ohio. We should also put increased emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation, key components of a new energy policy where Ohio can also play an important role.
Instead of taking unilateral steps that will make Ohio less competitive, as Washington is proposing, we should support technological advances and incentives that will lead us to next-generation sources of cleaner, domestic energy, while adding jobs.
We should aggressively pursue domestic energy sources, support the advancement of alternative/advanced energy technologies, and promote energy efficiency and conservation. Ohio stands to gain jobs from a combination of these approaches. More Ohio jobs will be created directly in the energy industry by unleashing Ohio's private sector to produce more affordable, reliable energy from proven sources, including natural gas, coal and oil, but also renewable fuels and sources of energy.
A new push for domestic energy and conservation can also directly benefit Ohio manufacturers and Ohio workers, many of whom make products for gas and oil production, the nuclear power industry, wind and solar power generation, clean coal processes, and the implementation of effective energy efficiencies, such as insulation, lighting, HVAC, and appliance refits, for homes and commercial buildings. Finally, Ohio will benefit as a center for energy research.
Rather than stifle the ingenuity of American enterprise and our market system through government interference and burdensome regulation, we need an energy policy that develops all domestic forms of fuel and energy, fosters renewed investment in research, development and infrastructure, and encourages conservation and efficiency.
Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act
My top priority in the U.S. Senate has been to promote policies that will help create jobs and economic growth. This led me to draft a specific jobs plan for Senate Republicans, which includes seven common sense steps to create the right environment for job growth.
One of the elements of the jobs plan is a new national energy plan to find more U.S. sources of energy to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil. But we can also lessen that dependence by using less.
That is why I introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act with Senator Shaheen (D-NH).
The bill will make our economy more productive and create jobs by incentivizing the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of our economy. Existing efficiency initiatives have already saved taxpayers more than $300 billion in energy bills and have reduced national energy use substantially. Our bipartisan bill takes efficiency to the next level through a variety of low-cost tools to encourage the use of efficiency technologies that will reduce costs for businesses and consumers, while making America more energy independent.
We believe this legislation will increase both our economic competitiveness and our energy security, while stimulating the economy and encouraging private sector job creation.
The Bill has passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 19-3.
Read more about the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.
See a list of endorsements here.