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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Renewable Direction Plan for Energy Independence

For a PDF version of this document, please CLICK HERE


With consumers paying $4 for a gallon of gas and our dependence on foreign oil rising from 46% to 61% between 1994 and 2006, there has never been a more urgent time to move America down the road towards Energy Independence.

Breaking our addiction to oil calls for immediate action, conservation and a smart long-term renewable energy policy that will protect consumers from skyrocketing energy costs, grow our economy and result in a cleaner, safer planet.

The New Direction Energy Plan

The New Direction Congress has already begun the transition to Energy Independence by increasing fuel economy for automobiles by 40% -- the first increase in over 30 years. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act , adopted by the Democratic Congress, will, by 2030, save more than 4 million barrels per day -- the equivalent of stopping all the oil currently being imported from Middle East.

Better fuel economy is just the first step in the New Direction agenda that includes:

  1. Unleashing the Renewable Revolution: Clean power sources like wind, solar and geothermal.
  2. Efficient Vehicles: Bringing to market plug-in hybrid and electric cars that get more than 100 miles per gallon..
  3. American Alternative Fuels: Aiding farmers in Middle America and not oil barons in the Middle East in our quest for fuel solutions that don’t depend on food crops but cellulosic ethanol made from biomass and algae.
  4. Investing in Clean Technology: Ensuring that America is first in the race for green technology solutions of the future.

Fighting for Immediate Consumer Relief

While moving America out from under the thumb of Big Oil calls for long-term renewable investments, $4 gasoline is here now. Immediate action must be taken to help consumers at the pump. The New Direction Congress is fighting to protect consumers from Big Oil policy and provide immediate relief by:
  1. Releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
  2. Drilling: Use It or Lose it: Making the oil companies drill now on the 68 million acres of land they already own
  3. Fighting Price Gouging at the pump
  4. Fighting Excessive Oil Speculation and closing the Enron Loophole
  5. Increasing Mass Transit options


Transforming the future of global energy resources requires America to invest in our energy Strengths…not our Weakness. Weakness:

 Weakness:  The United States only has 2% of the world’s oil supply. Yet America currently consumes 25% of the world’s oil resources. As developing nations like India and China increase the amount of oil they consume, it is clear that America must look to alternative sources as soon as possible.
 Strength:  Wind: The United States has more wind energy potential than any other country on the planet; we can no longer afford to let millions of megawatts of renewable wind energy sit untapped. Just one windmill can power over 3000 plug-in cars or nearly 1500 homes.
 Solar: The solar capacity of the United States is equally impressive and untapped.
 Technology: America has led every technological revolution for the last century. If we focused on developing the clean energy technology solutions of the future, instead of sticking with the dirty technologies of the past, we will create an American economic driver for the next century. Make no mistake, America is in a global race for next generation renewable technologies. Even oil-rich Middle East nations, such as United Arab Emirates, are investing billions into wind and solar. These are the technologies that will drive the 21st century econonomy. America can not afford to fall behind.



The Road to $4 Gas and Fighting the Big Oil Agenda

Bad policy choices and lack of leadership have pushed America down the road to dependence on foreign oil.

Big Oil currently receives billions in tax payer dollars per year. Exxon Mobil made more than $40 billion in profits last year alone –more than any other company in history. How do they spend our money



The Big Oil companies are making record profits on the backs of consumers paying $4 gas at the pump, while also pocketing billions in taxpayer dollars per year. Now, Big Oil lobbyists are pressuring Congress to end a 27 year bi-partisan ban on offshore drilling. They want to turn America’s beaches and coastlines – the very places where our children swim and the primary engine for many states’ tourism industry– into oil drilling, distribution and refinery zones.

That is why it is critical to understanding the Truth about Drilling: It comes down to Delay, Distraction, Delusion, Dependence and Danger:

Delay:Big Oil is not drilling on 68 million acres they currently lease from the American people. Even with $40 billion in record profits, Exxon Mobil still spent more money on stock buy backs last year than they did on exploration.

Distraction:Contrary to their multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, Big Oil is an impediment to a renewable energy future. They are actively lobbying to defeat renewable energy legislation on Capitol Hill. Their beach drilling campaign is a distraction peddled by their Congressional allies who are opposing clean wind, solar and geothermal tax incentives. These incentives continue to be blocked in the Senate by JUST ONE VOTE.

Delusion:New drilling won’t save consumers a penny at the pump for the next 10 years. Economists report that additional barrels of oil from wildlife areas would only yield savings of 1.8 cents a gallon nearly 20 years from now. Conversely, if we invest in cars that can get more miles per gallon, and in clean wind, solar and geothermal energy over the next ten years, we will save U.S. consumers money.

Danger:The Department of Interior reports that more than 17 thousand barrels of oil were spilled from offshore rigs as a result of Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita, and independent analyses have shown even greater totals rivaling some of the largest spills in history. Last Fall, almost 12 thousand barrels were dumped into the Gulf of Mexico due to a rig accident. The 257 thousand barrels spilled from the Exxon Valdez was one of the worst ecological disasters in history. The 1969 oil spill that covered California beaches was the catalyst for Earth Day, and should not be forgotten.

Dependence:The signs of a green, renewable revolution are evident across America. But Big Oil is still trying to ensure that American energy policy remains shackled to the dirty, carbon-heavy fossil fuels of the past. That includes fighting to keep home grown biofuels out of your local gas station, giving no alternative to $4 gasoline. Meanwhile, other countries with less natural wind and solar capacity are breaking free from oil and moving aggressively toward renewable resources.



Support the Renewable Alternative

Charts and Resources

(Right Click on Image to Download)

Understanding the Difference Between Energy Plans

CLICK HERE to read point-by-point breakdown of the various energy plans. 


Action the New Direction Congress Has Already Taken:

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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