Commentary: Responsible U.S. oil, gas development is true security

It's become nearly impossible to turn on the news or pick up a newspaper without seeing a story about rising oil prices. The combination of international events and our restrictive domestic energy policies has now pushed oil prices past $104 per barrel. At a time when we import more than 60 percent of our oil supply, the costs and consequences of such high prices pose genuine threats to our economy and security.

Regrettably, this emerging crisis is at least partially of our own making. Despite tremendous oil reserves -- offshore, in Alaska and in the Rocky Mountain West -- many of our lands have been locked up, putting our most promising opportunities out of reach.

This is a clear failure of government. The American people expect their representatives to take an honest look at where increased production is possible; how it can protect against higher prices and supply disruptions; and what it will do to increase our security, restore our trade balance, generate government revenues and create jobs. When we import oil, we export those benefits.

For the sake of our national security, our economy and the world's environment, that has to change. America must produce as much of the oil that it uses as possible. It's this balance, in concert with the resulting revenues and benefits to our manufacturing and transportation industries, that will allow us to truly take control of our energy future.

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