Marino: US can be energy independent in 10 years

The country can be energy independent in 10 years if it explores for new sources of natural gas and oil.

That’s the future to which U.S. Rep. Thomas A. Marino, R-Cogan Station, said that he looks forward.

Marino said he expects later this year for President Barack Obama to approve the extension of the Keystone Pipeline through the United States. That would, according to Marino, immediately create 20,000 jobs with an additional 200,000 jobs in the following five years – numbers with which Marino said Obama even agrees.

“We have to increase our energy independence in this country,” Marino said.

He said that he and several other colleagues in the House will work on formulating an energy policy for the country.

“We’ve never had one in this country,” he said. “You’re going to see this country become energy independent in the next 10 years. We won’t have to buy oil from the Middle East. We have the resources right here in this country.

Marino said he is not opposed to alternative sources of energy like solar or wind.

“I want alternative sources,” he said. “I would love to be able to run my car on solar energy or heat my house through solar, but it’s not there. It’s not cost effective and just doesn’t work at this point.”

He also thinks natural gas operators should be drilling no matter what the market price is.

“I have a problem with someone saying, ‘well, the price is too low for us to explore for further development,’ ” said Marino.

He wants natural gas producers doing business in Pennsylvania to sell their energy to state residents at a “reasonable price” first, then offer it outside the state. Only after that should they consider exporting natural gas to foreign countries, he said.