Dear Senator Toomey,
Let me say as respectfully, directly, and candidly as possible that I could not disagree with you more on your strategy as outlined in the following statement from your email below.
“It is for this reason that I have been disappointed by the President’s reluctance to a significant expansion of oil exploration and energy production within our own borders, including in the north Alaska coast. More oil production in the United States – both offshore and on land – will create jobs and bring new supplies to market, making us less dependent on the Middle East for our energy security. I will continue working with my Senate colleagues on policies that will bolster domestic oil production.”
This is, with all due respect, an idea that has no merit and makes absolutely no sense in the 21st century.
First of all, fossil fuels are fungible resources. There simply are insufficient resources within our borders and offshore in our waters to have any meaningful impact on prices globally(1).
Second and perhaps even more importantly, the risks to our environment as demonstrated most recently by the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster last year proves that this is an industry that cannot be trusted to put safety for its workers and the environment above profit. It is time for us to stop subsidizing this wildly profitable industry and to start helping companies who want to provide us with energy solutions that do not put workers’ lives at risk and which do not permanently and irrevocably harm our planet.
Therefore and in closing, unless and until you publicly reverse your position and instead advocate to the president and your colleagues for greater and more meaningful commitments to cleaner and greener energy technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal, please know that I will advocate against you and your reelection. I will tell all of my family, friends and neighbors that yours is a short-sighted and doomed idea to “drill, baby, drill”, and I will use precisely that kind of language to attach you to less serious political figures who share what I consider to be ridiculous and dangerous ideas about energy and our future.
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: “Senator Pat Toomey”
Sent: Monday, May 2, 2011 11:24:14 AM
Subject: Reply from U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
May 2, 2011
Dear Mr. **********,
Thank you for contacting me about energy prices. I appreciate hearing from you as I begin my service on behalf of Pennsylvania.
Like you, I am very concerned about the increased cost of gasoline and other fuels. High energy prices hurt the wallets of households across the country and pose a serious threat to our economy. It also is troubling that we continue to import billions of barrels of oil every year from unfriendly and unstable parts of the world. As Administrator Lisa Jackson, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recently noted, our dependence on foreign oil is the “most important factor” for the increase in gasoline prices. Clearly, we need to advance policies that tackle this problem and help Americans who are concerned about how much they are paying at the pump.
First and foremost, we need to produce significantly more energy here at home and put our country on the right track towards energy independence and affordable fuels. It is for this reason that I have been disappointed by the President’s reluctance to a significant expansion of oil exploration and energy production within our own borders, including in the north Alaska coast. More oil production in the United States – both offshore and on land – will create jobs and bring new supplies to market, making us less dependent on the Middle East for our energy security. I will continue working with my Senate colleagues on policies that will bolster domestic oil production.
In addition, you may be interested to know that I have cosponsored an energy bill to protect Pennsylvania jobs and help lower energy prices. The Boutique Fuel Reduction Act of 2011 (S. 511) would reduce the probability of gas price spikes by simplifying our complex gasoline system and curbing “boutique fuel” regulations that can drive up prices at the pump. This bill is currently pending before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Lastly, some have argued that speculation in the oil markets is driving the increase in gasoline prices. In response to such concerns, my office has contacted the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to learn more about the possible impact of energy speculation and about federal efforts to regulate the trade of energy futures. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on this issue, as well as on other possible factors that could be driving gasoline prices such as the Federal Reserve’s recent efforts to pump an unprecedented amount of money into the economy.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania