Last night, President Obama addressed the American people from the Oval Office regarding the BP Oil Spill. Considering that the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig occurred almost two months ago, I think the President’s attention to this disaster was long overdue. However, like many of you, I am concerned that the Administration has drawn precisely the wrong lessons from the spill and will use the crisis as an excuse to promote their liberal agenda of excessive regulation coupled with business-stifling taxation. Proposals for “cap and tax” are wrong, not just because they overburden the American economy and cripple the ability of our businesses to compete globally, but because they allow the government to control carbon – a natural element and one of the building blocks of life. This is a government power grab whose scale is unprecedented in our country’s history.
Our dependence on foreign energy is the single greatest security threat to our nation. No matter how powerful our military, as long as we depend on hostile regimes to import oil, we will never be completely secure. That is why I believe that we need an “all of the above” approach to pursuing energy independence. We must continue drilling and domestic production of oil, but we should also pursue nuclear, hydrogen, solar, coal, biomass, natural gas, fuel cell and wind options, as well as alternative sources. I believe that the First District of South Carolina, because of its seaside location, natural resources, and hard-working and skilled population has a key role to play in these efforts, and as your Congressman I will work to bring home these jobs.
Of course we must learn from the mistakes that were made in the BP oil spill. Oil companies should be held accountable for the safety of the people and the health of the environment in the areas where they drill. But we should not use this crisis as an excuse to punish big business and destroy good jobs. Democratic lawmakers seem to enjoy hauling CEOs before their committees so they can grandstand and condescend to them.
I say it’s enough with the finger-pointing, political posturing, and overreacting. We don’t need another tax. We need mature and responsible leadership which challenges Americans to solve their problems as they always have – with ingenuity and creativity.