Time for a Declaration of Energy Indepedence

Evan has got the right idea here. More jobs, and independece from foreign oil.

Today, families across Indiana will celebrate the ideals our Founding Fathers demonstrated when they declared our nation’s independence from Colonial rule. We owe our current strength and success to their courage and foresight. Now, more than two centuries later, we stand at a similar turning point, and we will need a similar spirit of innovation and forward thinking if we are to meet this challenge. What we need is a new Declaration of Independence — a Declaration of Energy Independence.

Oil addiction today is threatening to shape our future like the Colonial rule of 200 years ago. We are more dependent on foreign oil from hostile countries now than we were on 9/11, which is making us more vulnerable and putting the United States in the uniquely disturbing position of bankrolling both sides of the War on Terror. From high gas prices to national security and economic growth, our energy needs will impact every aspect of our nation’s future. Breaking America’s dependence on foreign oil is one of the great challenges of our generation and one we must address with a sense of urgency.

It is the responsibility of America’s leaders to put us on the path to energy independence. That’s why in November I introduced the Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act, a bipartisan bill that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil by encouraging the production of renewable energy and the development of new energy-efficient technologies. The development of alternative energy sources will bring exciting economic growth to states like Indiana.

By increasing ethanol use we can create new jobs in agriculture and manufacturing, while tax credits for producing hybrid and advanced diesel vehicles will lure more manufacturing jobs to build the next generation cars and trucks. With increased funding for the research and development of alternative fuels, we can create more high-tech jobs.

Last month I got a first-hand look at how Hoosiers are already taking part in the New Energy Economy. From hybrid city buses in Evansville to ethanol production at New Energy Corp in South Bend, I was proud to see Hoosiers stepping forward to meet our energy and economic needs.

Today we are exporting too many of our jobs overseas and importing too much oil. We need to start reversing that trend. Indiana’s unique ability to produce affordable, American-made fuel and the vehicles that run on it makes our state a natural leader on the road to energy independence.

Evan Bayh

U.S. senator from Indiana

Washington, D.C.

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