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McKinney touts energy independence agenda
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RINCON — “Like Nero in ancient Rome, the Democrat-controlled Congress is fiddling while the economy goes up in flames because of skyrocketing fuel prices,” said Candidate for Congress Ray McKinney (R-Savannah). “People across the 12th District tell me they want real solutions to this problem, not just politics-as-usual.”

McKinney, an energy consultant and former executive with an energy services company unveiled his “Agenda for Energy Independence,” a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the energy crisis and the resulting high fuel prices. Meanwhile, gasoline prices in East Georgia had reached or surpassed the national average of $4 a gallon while diesel fuel prices approached $5 a gallon.

McKinney said he finds it ironic that while the former communist nation of Russia is considering tax incentives to increase oil exploration, John Stone, one of his Republican opponents for Congress, has joined Democrats in calling for the repeal of existing tax incentives on U.S. oil companies.

“He calls them subsidies, but the fact is lower taxes help oil companies pay for the high costs of oil exploration and modernization,” said McKinney. “Repealing tax incentives would Increase the costs of producing more oil. Those costs would then be passed onto us, the consumers.”

McKinney continued:  “In my Contract with the 12th District, I said I would work on a real long term national energy policy that emphasizes domestic oil production, alternative energy sources, and efficiency and conservation. The ‘Agenda for Energy Independence’ tells the voters exactly what I’ll propose once elected to Congress. So far, I’m the only 12th District candidate with specific short-term, mid-term and long-term solutions to the energy crisis.”

Specifics of the agenda
• Eliminate the 31 different blends of gasoline in the U.S. and streamline the process so that supplies can be moved and stored in the U.S. in an economic fashion.

• Sell the oil being diverted temporarily from the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve and put the profits into the national treasury to help pay off the national debt.

• Stabilize and increase the value of our currency by reducing government borrowing and spending, setting a standard that puts faith in the U.S. dollar.

• Open up available crude oil reserves for access, which would be used to market oil on the free market, providing revenues to be used to reduce the national debt, stabilize the dollar and lower pressure on the world market.

• Open up oil shale exploration to reduce pressure and pay down the national debt.

• Build nuclear power plants to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and create an infrastructure of cheap nuclear power which can be used as an alternate energy source. This would reduce greenhouse gases by 60 percent in 20 years.

• Mandate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission work with private industry to develop “copy exactly” technology for nuclear power plants.  

• Mandate the EPA to work with private industry to develop and build “copy exactly” oil refineries which can be placed around the country. This would protect the U.S. from damage to localized natural or un-natural disasters so that another Katrina type storm should not be able to affect the national economy.

• Develop a national energy plan to reduce use of fossil fuels by 50 percent over the next 30 years.

• Work with private industry to develop hydrogen storage and delivery, develop and produce hydrogen powered vehicles to be used by federal, state and local government vehicles.

• Build an infrastructure of manufacturing and fuel availability to convert the private fleet to alternate fuels within 30 years.

• Develop technologies and manufacturing capabilities that can be marketed to the rest of the world with a goal of reducing demand and use of carbon-based fuels and creating jobs.

“While a lot of these proposals are long-term, they would have an immediate effect on the oil commodities market and help bring prices per barrel back down,” said McKinney.  “I believe these are real solutions to a real problem, and when elected to Congress, I’ll work with like-minded members of Congress from both political parties to implement these proposals.”