Increasing Energy Security

Increasing Energy Security

“Both our national and economic security depend on our ability to diversify our energy supply so that we are less reliant on foreign sources of oil. Accomplishing this will require a balanced, multilateral approach that includes all available technologies: the continued development of alternative fuels, nuclear power and renewables such as solar and wind; investment in research and technology; the expansion of our refinery capacity to include biorefineries and coal-to-liquid facilities; conservation of our resources; and enhancing oil and gas production in an environmentally friendly way.” - Senator Bob Corker

Senator Corker believes both our national and economic security depend on our ability to diversify our energy supply so that we are less reliant on foreign sources of oil.

Promoting Domestic Energy Production: Senator Corker believes that in order to keep our economy competitive and the job market strong, we need to increase our domestic energy supply. The Senator is anxious for the day, hopefully in our very near future, when most Americans will be driving affordable vehicles powered by electricity and other non-petroleum-based technologies, but while we’re transitioning to this promising future he believes it makes sense to use our own oil reserves rather than shipping billions of dollars overseas to countries that would do us harm. Presently, this dependence is resulting in a massive transference of wealth and accumulation of trade deficits for our country, and unless we make changes we will be even more dependent on this volatile region. Senator Corker supports environmentally friendly offshore oil and natural gas production because he believes it is a bridge to the future while we invest in alternative energy technology. The reality is we cannot make the transition to alternatives overnight, and that is why Senator Corker cosponsored the Gas Price Reduction Act in 2008, a bill that would have allowed exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf. Senator Corker also supports the expansion of nuclear energy as another critical component of boosting our domestic energy supply, and supports the continued development of renewable energy sources.

Supporting Fuel-Efficient Vehicles: Senator Corker cosponsored a bipartisan amendment that was included in the 2007 CLEAN Energy Act that would reduce our gasoline consumption by making our vehicles more fuel-efficient, saving consumers money and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. While conserving gasoline, this amendment also ensured that vehicles would remain safe and cost-effective. The Senator strongly supported this particular approach because it reforms and strengthens the current fuel efficiency regulations by ensuring that all vehicles, whether small and light or large and heavy, are made to be as fuel efficient as possible. This provision was included and signed into law as part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. In addition, Senator Corker voted for the 2008 Energy Improvement and Extension Act that provided consumer tax credits to encourage the purchase of plug-in electric drive vehicles, as well as tax incentives for alternative refueling infrastructure such as electric vehicle recharging stations. This bill was signed into law.

Supporting Alternative Fuels: Senator Corker voted for the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which promotes development of advanced biofuel alternatives to Middle Eastern oil. Senator Corker is proud of the leadership role Tennessee is playing in researching and developing alternatives to foreign oil. This legislation is good for our country and good for Tennessee.

Stimulating Growth of Nuclear Power: Senator Corker strongly supports the expansion of nuclear energy, a clean, non-fossil power source that will make our country more energy secure. Because of volatile natural gas prices and increased concern over carbon dioxide emissions, the Senator believes that we have a tremendous opportunity to foster a resurgence in nuclear power. The CLEAN Energy Act, which the Senator voted for, contained a provision that is vital to the financing of additional nuclear power plants. Unfortunately, this provision was excluded from the final energy bill. With electricity demand in the U.S. expected to increase by 50% in 2030, a significant increase in nuclear power is essential.

Incentivizing Clean Coal Technology: Senator Corker firmly believes we should incentivize technologies that will meet the goals of producing clean, stable energy from the country’s most abundant energy resource—coal. Senator Corker is supportive of demonstrating new approaches to capture and store carbon dioxide from coal plants and cosponsored two bills to accomplish this, which were included in the final version of the Energy Independence and Security Act. The 2008 Energy Improvement and Extension Act also promotes clean coal technology by providing tax incentives for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects.

Encouraging Clean Electricity: Senator Corker believes that we need to support a broad energy portfolio rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach. For this reason, during consideration of two energy bills, Senator Corker opposes legislation that will require a certain percentage of electricity to be generated from a very narrow range of renewable energy sources. The Southeast does not have an abundance of these resources and the standard would unfairly increase electricity costs for Tennessee consumers. In order to encourage clean energy without picking winners and losers, the Senator supported an amendment in 2007 that would have allowed a standard to be met by a wide variety of clean energy sources, including nuclear and hydro-power sources that are available in the Southeast. Rather than supporting an unfair mandate, Senator Corker has chosen to support the development of renewable energy through tax incentives and clean energy bonds. In September 2008, Senator Corker voted for the Energy Improvement and Extension Act, which extended tax incentives for the production of electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. The amendment also included incentives for energy conservation and efficiency.