Searching For A (Bipartisan) Solution

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At Business Roundtable, our member CEOs are deeply concerned about the effects of high energy prices on our competiveness in the international economy and the home economies of the millions of individuals that drive U.S. prosperity. In fact, energy costs were recently ranked among the top cost pressures facing our members. We believe America’s citizens, communities and companies need – and deserve – an energy policy that is bipartisan, immediate and long-term in order to enhance our energy security and ensure economic prosperity.

In our energy report, More Diverse, More Domestic, More Efficient, we emphasized the need for balanced, long-term energy strategies to achieve alignment between supply and demand while increasing our national energy security. Throughout the past few months, we’ve been encouraged by recent examples of bipartisan cooperation. One example was the Gang of 10 and its proposal to expand Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration while increasing investments for alternative sources of energy. Another encouraging sign was House passage of legislation aimed at partially lifting the ban on tapping our offshore resources.

Since these efforts, the moratorium on OCS exploration has expired – an important and necessary step towards achieving national energy independence. Utilizing domestic oil sources, along with renewable, alternative and more traditional sources of energy, will help lead us in the direction of achieving energy independence.

Nearly a month ago, Congress enacted $17 billion in energy-related tax credits. The legislation extended and expanded existing tax credits for solar and wind while adding incentives for clean coal, plug-in electric automobiles, biodiesel and geothermal plants. We applaud this crucial investment in our nation’s future.

All of these developments are encouraging signs of Congress’ commitment to sustainable growth. In addition to increasing investments in new sources of energy, we also implore Congress to consider other proposals. We need to improve environmentally responsible access to public lands in the Rockies and Alaska. Additionally, despite the expiration of the moratorium, some of the most promising areas of the Outer Continental Shelf remain inaccessible due to dated statutes enacted by Congress and must be addressed.

We are confident that our legislators will sustain the momentum and bipartisan cooperation. Recently, we saw our leaders come together and pass an historic financial rescue plan. The energy crisis is a serious threat that demands similar bold, bipartisan action.

At Business Roundtable, we believe it is important for members on both sides of the aisle to put ideology aside and work for broad-based solutions to our nation’s energy challenges. With the right policies and the right balance between reducing demand and increasing domestic energy supply, we can secure our nation’s energy future.

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