Bennet Bill Would Break Dependence on Overseas Oil by 2030, Create Sustained, National Focus on Energy Independence

Introduces Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act with Carper, Tom Udall, Merkley

Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, along with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tom Udall (D-NM), introduced a bill to achieve American oil independence, strengthen national security and create jobs. The Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act will set into law a goal to achieve independence from overseas oil in the next 20 years and provide a specific plan for achieving it. It commits America to developing a robust clean energy economy, which would create new jobs and eliminate the national security vulnerability posed by dependence on foreign oil. 

“In town halls all across Colorado, one thing everyone agrees on is the need to break our dependence on overseas oil,” said Bennet. “By making a national commitment to a clean energy economy, the bill would create jobs while eliminating the national security and economic vulnerability posed by our dependence on overseas oil. We have outlined a plan to break our dependence on overseas oil in a way that promotes Colorado’s energy sources and creates jobs in Colorado and across the country.”

To eliminate the nation’s reliance on foreign imports from non-North American countries by 2030, the Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act includes steps to ramp up production and use of electric vehicles, increase travel options and improve infrastructure, make gasoline engines more efficient, develop alternative transportation fuels and reduce the use of oil to heat buildings.

This year, more than two-thirds of America’s oil imports will come from nations that too often do not have America’s best interests in mind. This dependence on overseas oil costs our nation a billion dollars per day that could be invested in job creation here at home. It also prevents the United States from fully investing in home-grown American clean energy and undermines efforts to reduce pollution in our air and water.

The Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act would reduce oil consumption in the U.S. by more than 8 billion barrels per day by 2030, enough to end the need for oil imports from beyond North America.

Reducing oil consumption can help break America’s national security and economic vulnerability to hostile countries and groups, geopolitical instability, and natural disasters posed by overseas oil. Increasing domestic drilling can make a contribution to this effort, but that will not solve the problem because the United States has less than 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves, yet uses 25 percent of all oil. The Department of Energy has estimated that new drilling in protected areas would only lower the price of gasoline by three cents per gallon in twenty years. Moreover, domestic drilling is not without risks, as last year’s BP catastrophe has shown.

The Senators introduced a similar bill in 2010.