We live in a nation blessed with significant natural energy resources, as well as the talent and innovation to develop them responsibly. But even when faced with today's high fuel prices and economic headwinds, some in Washington still lack the will to advance forward-thinking policies that will lower energy costs, make America more energy independent, and spur economic growth and job creation in Pennsylvania. This is unacceptable, and Senator Toomey is committed to sensibly unlocking our nation's resources and reforming regulations so the American people can have access to affordable energy.
Among other things, Senator Toomey believes that we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower prices at the pump by developing our energy sources right here at home. Energy production has been one of the few areas of opportunity and growth since the onset of the recent recession. It is also inextricably linked to the success of our manufacturing sector, which employs many Pennsylvanians and relies on affordable and reliable power. Accordingly, Senator Toomey supports allowing more oil exploration in Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf, and the vast oil shale reserves in America's western states and recognizes the unique potential of the Marcellus Shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world, to create more jobs, more economic growth and more affordable energy for Pennsylvanians. Senator Toomey also believes that the Obama administration has delayed for far too long in approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from our ally, Canada, to refineries in the United States. This project has the potential to create thousands of jobs and to further decrease our dependence on the Middle East for our energy needs. Keystone XL has gained support from lawmakers from both parties, as well as from academics and prominent labor leaders. Senator Toomey has joined the majority of the Senate in supporting a bipartisan bill (S. 2280) that would bypass the President and approve the relevant permitting to complete this essential project.
So long as the American people need affordable electricity, we will continue to get a vast amount of our power from the abundance of coal produced here in Pennsylvania. Under President Obama, however, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been especially aggressive in pursuing environmental regulations that would severely damage the coal industry that has been so important to our state, causing economic distress while yielding negligible environmental benefits. Senator Toomey has strongly opposed these regulations and he will continue to fight for commonsense policies that will allow Pennsylvania to thrive.
Since coming to the Senate, Senator Toomey has also promoted legislation that would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a costly federal law that, among other things, mandates that increasing quantities of ethanol and other renewable fuels are blended into the nation's fuel supply. This policy has been responsible for increased food and fuel prices as well as environmental damage. Senator Toomey pleased that a bipartisan group of Senators has joined me and we have the support of environmental groups in opposing the RFS. He remains committed to pressing the Obama Administration and the EPA to repeal this harmful program.
Senator Toomey believes that all sources of energy should compete on a level playing field. Past efforts by Washington to pick winners and losers in the private sector have been unfair and yielded poor results. Accordingly, Senator Toomey has co-sponsored legislation (S. 2279) to repeal a variety of subsidies and credits for traditional as well as alternative sources of energy.
As work continues in Washington to promote a pro-growth, responsible energy agenda, Senator Toomey will aggressively advocate for improved access to our energy resources, commonsense regulatory reform, and the repeal of the wasteful and costly RFS.