Johnny Isakson's Position Statement on Energy

It is in the geopolitical and environmental interests of the United States to reduce our dependence on imported foreign oil from unstable areas of the world. The United States must develop a balanced national energy policy that increases and diversifies our country’s energy supply in environmentally and economically friendly ways.

The significant increase in energy costs has affected the American economy and the family budget. We will bring costs down only when we develop our untapped domestic energy supplies. This includes environmentally responsible exploration of our own oil and natural gas resources, our reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our oil shale reserves. We also must pursue measures such as increasing nuclear power generation, expanding renewable sources of energy and promoting conservation and efficiency. We can be good stewards of our land while at the same time lessening our dependence on foreign oil.

As a major consumer of energy, America also should be a leader in the development of new sources of energy and the development of renewable resources.

The use of alternative feed-stocks such as wood byproducts, grasses and byproducts from peanuts, cotton and municipal waste can help us achieve a positive relationship between our economic needs and our environmental conservation. We also should invest in new technologies involving ethanol, biodiesel and coal liquification to replace traditional fossil fuels.

America’s energy infrastructure should encourage using energy sources such as nuclear, natural gas, clean coal, biomass, wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energies. We have a diverse country with many assets that regionally are very different. If we’re going to find renewable energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we must promote all those sources.

Keystone XL Pipeline
The Obama administration’s rejection of a construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in January 2012 was a terrible mistake. It was a missed opportunity to secure America’s energy future and to create tens of thousands of badly needed jobs for Americans.

The proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline would have transported 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to U.S. refineries. Canada’s oil sands are among the largest oil reserves in the world. As global demand for oil surges and Canada increases production, the addition of the Keystone XL pipeline would have ensured that Americans could benefit from reliable and secure oil from our largest trading partner.

Cap-and-Trade Energy Tax
While the United States must develop a balanced national energy policy to increase and diversify our nation’s sources of energy in an environmental and economically appropriate manner, I am glad that there is no longer a rush within Congress to pass a cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon. Such a program would raise the cost of energy to all Georgians – especially those who rely on electric energy – in the form of higher utility bills and prices of goods and services.