I have deep concerns about the sustainability of the environment.   As a Coast Guard Auxiliarist, I have worked first-hand on oil spill response and I have witnessed the destruction personally. On the other hand, I enjoy owning a vintage American vehicle that runs on gasoline. My fond hope is that we discover an efficient energy source to replace the expensive and inefficient engines in our cars while still allowing us to live an American lifestyle. One that has always allowed the freedom of independent transportation when needed. These answers will not come without effective and aggressive research. If we as a country do not provide the innovations, we can count on other countries providing them to us for a price. These energy needs are not going away and America needs to remain a leader here.

Until America achieves meaningful campaign-finance reform, we should be deeply suspicious of aggressive energy policies tied to legacy sources like oil and coal. The question I often find myself asking is, “Will this policy be beneficial to the consumer in a way that is equivalent to the risk, or is this little more than a profit bearing enterprise from an energy company who has a large campaign investment in the legislature?”

Will projects like Keystone XL be a real relief for the consumer, or simply a profit driver for an oil industry surging toward it’s end?  Can an industry with more concern for their margins be trusted to do what is needed to safely construct and operate a pipe full of hazardous materials through such sensitive and irreplaceable natural resources?  These are questions the country needs to be asking but don’t expect results from incumbents who are seeking re-election campaign funding this year.