Manchester, NH -- Today, Jay Buckey, Democratic candidate for US Senate from New Hampshire, proposed a National Security Levy on oil designed to make America stronger and the economy less vulnerable to disruptions in foreign energy supplies.
"It is truly unacceptable to have American servicemen and women risking their lives overseas -- in part to protect our access to oil -- and yet not do everything we can here in New Hampshire and across the country to end our dependence on foreign oil," said Buckey, a retired Major in the Air Force Reserve. "We need to take positive action to protect our nation's security and our future."
"Right now, every time we fill up our cars, we're using our hard-earned dollars to help fund foreign oil producers in the Mideast, Russia, and elsewhere," Buckey continued. "Instead of sending billions of dollars overseas to buy energy, we should use our nation's technological skills to make the transition to renewable alternatives. The National Security Levy can help fund that transition."
The proposed National Security Levy would include a fee on all oil consumption in the United States and a price floor to stabilize the price of oil. A slow phase-in would insure against sudden shocks to consumers.
"So far, OPEC and other oil-producing countries have been able to lower and raise oil prices like puppeteers pulling the strings," Buckey said. "Alternative energy companies have often failed when oil prices were low. And American consumers – especially lower income citizens – have been stretched almost to the breaking point when prices spike. It's time to put a stop to this."
Buckey explained that the National Security Levy would be variable, depending on the world price of oil. Falling world oil prices would trigger an increase in the National Security Levy to stabilize the price in the US and provide a predictable environment for alternative energy producers. Alternatively, temporary suspension of the National Security Levy would serve as a counterbalance in the US to spikes in the world price of oil.
Revenue from the National Security Levy would be used in two ways:
1) rebates to working families to compensate for increased energy costs, and
2) support an Apollo program for Energy to rapidly move the United States into the lead in alternative energy technology and to stimulate the economy.
"The National Security Levy will allow us to make essential investments in energy technology," Buckey explained. "With this vitally important funding, we'll be able to develop the technology we need to end our dependence on foreign oil – and move on to renewable alternatives."
Jay Buckey, M.D. is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from New Hampshire. He flew as a payload specialist astronaut on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1998, and he also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve for eight years. He is currently a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and an adjunct professor of engineering at the Thayer School. He and his family live in Hanover, NH.