By: Luke Puckett

Recent events have showed us how important it is that we become energy independent not only for our own economic prosperity but also for our own security. Over 30 years ago our nation experienced a severe energy crisis because 12% of our annual oil supply was provided by foreign sources of oil. Today, we are even more vulnerable as nearly 70% of our oil energy needs are met by foreign sources that are all too often hostile to our interests and our values.

The threat posed by our reliance on foreign oil is illustrated by the recent conflict between Russia and our brave but small ally Georgia. Russia’s irresponsible, unfortunate and inappropriate bullying of Georgia is not about liberating some radical groups from imagined atrocities. It is about Russia’s expansion of power not just into neighboring states but into the global scene.

A key network of oil and natural gas pipelines stretches across Georgia. This network, which was due for an expansion until Russia’s aggressive destruction jeopardized the construction of new pipelines, is a vital link between Caucasus oil and natural gas resources and the energy users of Europe and the United States. Russia’s drastic invasion has allowed them to seize strategic control of the pipelines and it has given them the power to negotiate for world acceptance of their heavy-handed and anti-freedom actions.

Also looming large as a threat to our security is Iran’s control of the flow of roughly 40% of the world’s daily oil output. Iran’s leaders have stated that it is their aim to end America and destroy the ideals of liberty. We may consider these thugs crazed and incoherent, but we must take their apocalyptic declarations seriously because they are even now building and honing their capacity to execute their dark visions.

The time for words should be over; the time for action is now. We must put the world on notice that we will not sacrifice the strength of our national security on the altar of outdated government red-tape regulations that form a nearly impenetrable dam to the flow of our own domestic energy resources. We must move boldly and quickly to allow for a dramatic expansion of environmentally responsible domestic oil drilling.

Our children should not have to grow up in a world where their freedom and their mobility is dictated to them by backward looking tyrants who desperately seek to maintain some semblance of control in a world where their ideology has been discarded as a failure. You and I have a responsibility to strengthen our security and secure our future. I pledge to you that if you elect me to Congress this November, I will go to Washington to fight out of touch politicians to lower your gas prices.

Luke Puckett is running for Congress in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District on a platform of common-sense solutions. You can learn more about him by visiting his website at http://www.puckett08.com.

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