Recently I attended a meeting hosted by the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership to Fuel America, which is an organization of businesses who recognize the big impact that energy has on their individual business, large and small. What I learned is that America needs a comprehensive energy plan with a focus on developing the energy resources we have here at home.
What I hear from some elected officials is frustrating. Everyone seems to agree we need more energy, and that we don't want it from the Middle East. But the government has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline, which would allow us to import oil from Canada instead. The pipeline would also have an "on ramp" in my home area of southwest North Dakota and be a great economic benefit to an area with little economic diversity.
All the politicians also agree that we need more jobs. But some of them don't support expanding domestic energy production, offshore and onshore. They only want to talk about a few sources of energy, when we really need all of them.
If we want to grow our economy and create thousands of new jobs, we should be investing in infrastructure like the Keystone XL pipeline, and expand domestic energy production of all kinds -- from oil and gas to wind and solar.
I became part of the Partnership to Fuel America because they agree with these principles and are helping to educate folks across the country. We have some great opportunities to grow our economy -- if we take advantage of them.