Guest Opinion: Creating an all-of-the-above energy future

For too long, the U.S. has operated with no comprehensive plan for meeting the inevitable increased demand for energy created by both traditional and renewable resources. As the energy economy continues to evolve, we must develop a true all-of-the-above energy strategy that will ensure both U.S. energy security and affordable power for American families well into the future.

We often talk about the need for an all-of-the-above approach, but in order to make it a reality, we need a plan. This is where my bill, the Planning for American Energy Act, comes in.

I recently reintroduced the Planning for American Energy Act (H.R. 2907) in the 115th Congress. The bill is pretty straightforward – it would require the U.S. to develop an all-of-the-above approach to meet the projected energy demand of the United States over the next 30 years.

Specifically, it would require the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to project the nation’s energy needs and the Departments of Interior and Agriculture to develop four-year energy production plans to meet those needs. The plans would need to include all sources – wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale and minerals – and they would preserve current environmental reviews and safeguards.

According to the EIA, in 2015, 60 percent of the electricity generated in Colorado came from coal, 22 percent came from natural gas, and 18 percent was generated by renewable energy resources. Across the U.S. in 2016, natural gas accounted for 34 percent of electricity generation, coal accounted for 31 percent, nuclear power for 20 percent, and renewables for 15 percent.

Technology in both traditional and renewable energy development continues to advance, and I am confident that the innovation we’re seeing will help support an all-of-the-above strategy that will create thousands of new jobs, keep energy costs low for families and businesses, and strengthen our national security.

We have an incredible opportunity before us, and it is time to put a plan in place.