The United States is in the midst of a dramatic transformation in our capacity to produce the vital energy that powers our American economy. For decades, our country has relied heavily on imports, making us vulnerable to hostile regimes and supply disruptions. Today, creativity and competition are driving our domestic energy sector forward allowing the U.S. to access abundant resources here at home. This recent and rapid expansion of domestic energy production can improve our outlook for the future both at home and in our global affairs, but in order to take full advantage of this opportunity, more must be done.
Washington's bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it unnecessarily difficult for energy developers to take advantage of these new forms of cheap and clean energy. It also distorts the marketplace, puts the breaks on innovation, and makes it impossible for companies to know what the most efficient solutions are. Is it surprising then that energy costs are on the rise?
We should be talking about energy freedom, new technologies, and discoveries. Instead the debate in Washington continues to be about how much we should subsidize solar or ethanol, and whether we should prohibit nuclear energy or coal. We should shift the debate and cut the red tape. Like all other sectors of the economy, allowing businesses and ideas to compete on the free market will not only produce the most efficient forms of energy, but will also pass along the cost savings to the consumer.
To stop Washington bureaucrats from limiting our energy choices and waging their war against one of the most affordable and abundant forms of energy we have, I have co-sponsored Senate Republican Leader, and fellow Kentuckian, Mitch McConnell's . Our bill keeps the EPA from using back-door tactics to stifle coal production.
My 2014 budget proposal, A Clear Vision to Revitalize America, would accelerate domestic resource development on public lands. For two generations, it has been the policy of the United States government to deny its citizens access to the energy resources they own. Either these public land holdings need to be sold off to the states to manage, or the government should unlock its massive mineral wealth by fostering a process of efficient, safe and effective energy development. No matter which course is chosen, creativity, ingenuity and competition is what drives an energy sector forward. We must seek a more realistic balance in our approach to energy development on public lands.
My plan would also approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. I have consistently and repeatedly voted to allow this project to proceed. Rather than create thousands of new jobs, expand America's refining capacity, and strengthen our unique partnership with neighboring Canada, President Obama has elected instead to block any progress on building the Keystone XL, in stark contrast to the "all-of-the-above" approach to energy production he claims to support.
By allowing domestic oil, gas and mining exploration to proceed while encouraging the competitive development of alternative, renewable energy sources, I believe that the principles I have set forth in my budget plan are a significant improvement over the Obama Administration's hostile approach to traditional energy development. As a U.S. Senator, I am committed to doing what is not only best for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, but also the United States as a whole in developing a sound energy policy.