15,000 Miles or 15 Blocks?

Energy Secretary jet-sets to the Middle East to “discuss a range of energy issues, including energy security.”

We ask: Could as much, if not more, have been accomplished by walking 15 blocks to the Interior Dept.?

Washington, DC – Today marks day two of Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s four-day, three-country tour through the Middle East “to strengthen and expand U.S. relationships across the region” and to “discuss a range of energy issues, including energy security and the importance of investing in a broad portfolio of energy technologies as part of the global economic recovery.”

This trip comes nearly one year after Secretary Chu was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and in the wake of countless statements from the Obama Administration on the urgent need to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources. It should also be noted that while the energy secretary is in the Middle East, the Obama Administration is busy here at home locking up job-creating domestic oil, oil shale and natural gas resources on taxpayer-owned land.

Most economists, independent experts and, in particular, our chief economic competitor, China, recognize that energy markets are global in nature. However, reducing our foreign energy dependence has become a rallying cry for some who favor top-down federal mandates to promote expensive and unreliable energy sources. These heavily taxpayer-subsidized forms of energy – such as wind and solar – are not transportation fuels, and simply cannot be used to drive our nation’s manufacturing base.

If the Obama Administration’s goal is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it is certainly attainable; however, it will only become a reality if this government implements policies that encourage increased domestic production of homegrown resources. The U.S. has the capability and technological know-how to achieve this goal. But to do so, policymakers must demonstrate a commitment to commonsense, pro-job, pro-American energy policies, which have been noticeably absent in Washington for the past 30 years.

Visiting our allies in the Middle East to discuss energy security is important. But this administration’s efforts to demonize domestic energy production, add layers of bureaucratic red-tape, and impose enormous, burdensome tax hikes on the very resources that serve as the foundation for economic growth and prosperity will only cause our nation’s long-term energy security to weaken.

One has to wonder if the Energy Secretary could accomplish more if he were to “discuss a range of energy issues, including energy security” with his colleague, Interior Secretary Salazar. At a minimum, by walking the 15 blocks to the Department of the Interior, he could have saved energy– the kind derived entirely from oil.

NOTE: According to a Energy Dept. press release, Secretary Chu will travel to the energy rich nations of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the Emirate Abu Dhabi. The estimated distance of this trip is roughly 15,363 miles. However, a distance to the Interior Department is at most 15 city blocks.

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