Mikulski, Colleagues Urge White House to Convene Energy Independence Summit - Southern Maryland Headline News

Mikulski, Colleagues Urge White House to Convene Energy Independence Summit

Call for National Effort to Decrease Dependence on Foreign Oil

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today joined more than 20 of her Democratic Senate colleagues, including Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), in a letter to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, urging them to join in quickly convening a bipartisan national energy summit to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.

The summit would be open to the public and bring together representatives from oil companies, automakers, consumers, scientists, environmentalists, transportation experts, and state and local leaders in an effort to find solutions for energy independence as a step toward greater national security.

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Vice-President,

In recent months, Democrats and Republicans and stakeholders from across the country have called out for decisive action and leadership to break America's dependence on foreign oil. Last week, Democrats joined together to reaffirm our commitment to energy independence as one of the keys to real security for our nation.

We agree with your observation in the State of the Union address that we are "addicted to oil" and must do more to end that addiction. This is an issue on which we can and should work together to make America more secure, protect consumers, promote innovation and investment in our economy and create new jobs. We believe that developing a serious, long-term strategy to curb our nation's dangerous dependence on oil is long-overdue. As such, we ask that you join with us in quickly convening a bipartisan national energy summit.

The summit would be designed to produce solutions to move America forward more quickly on a path toward greater energy independence and security. The summit would have representation from all facets of American life, including oil companies, automakers, consumers, scientists, environmentalists, transportation experts, state and local leaders, and be open and transparent to the public in a free-flowing format.

Given the rapidly evolving global economy and the national security-related challenges we face at the dawn of the 21st Century, it is abundantly clear that a 19th Century approach to our national energy strategy will simply not suffice. Your involvement and cooperation is crucial if we are to forge a bipartisan consensus to incorporate the best in efficiency technologies, and tackle in a thoughtful way the crucial infrastructure challenges we face in transitioning to a broader array of alternative fuels.

A growing chorus of former national security officials from Republican and Democratic Administrations alike, economists, national consumer and public interest groups, and environmental organizations have called for a serious plan to address America's growing dependence on oil. This national energy summit would take advantage of this growing sentiment and mark an important first step on the path toward greater energy independence.

Securing our nation's energy future is among the biggest economic and national security challenges faced by our generation. The status quo-in which the security of the United States and the vitality of our domestic economy are left to the whims of foreign regimes and companies that may not have the best interests of our nation at heart-is simply not an option. How your Administration and Congress rise to meet this challenge will be one of the most important tests on which future generations of Americans will come to measure our leadership and resolve.

We hope you will join us in convening a bipartisan national energy summit. We stand ready to work with you to develop a serious and sustainable national strategy to curb America's dangerous dependence on oil.

Editor's Note: It is interesting to note that Brazil, the largest country in South America and considered to be a third-world nation, will achieve energy independence this year. For more stories on Brazil's achievement, please see: http://www.google.com/search?q=brazil+energy+independence.

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