If the United States is going to break its dependence on foreign energy and finally craft a pragmatic and diversified energy plan, it must start and end with Alaska.

Oil and natural gas, hydropower and the variety of alternative and renewable energy sources found throughout Alaska all make up the varied energy supplies that my state stands ready to offer the United States. Besides simply adding to our nation’s energy security, developing these potential new sources of energy means new jobs and an economic boost to our struggling nation—all while costing the taxpayers nothing.

With unemployment stagnate at more than 8 percent and the price of gasoline on the rise again, now is the time to move from energy potential to production.

Recently, one of the most exciting American energy-related developments in years occurred in Alaska. For the first time in more than 20 years, a well is being drilled in the Chukchi Sea, off Alaska’s Arctic coast. Due to incessant litigation and endless federal bureaucracy, it has taken six years and more than $4 billion for this well to become a reality.