Congressman Tom Latham has been appointed to a new “House Energy Action Team”. According to a news release from Latham’s office, the group will “push Republican energy policies.”

“What we need to actually have is an energy policy in this country where we actually look at conservation to make sure that we aren’t wasting energy (in) our homes, our automobiles — all those things,” Latham says. “…We’ve got to look at all the renewables, whether you talk about ethanol, biodiesel, wind, solar. Nuclear’s got to be a part of that and we’ve got to have the ability to go after the resources we have in great abundance right here in the U.S.”

According to Latham, the United States has oil and natural gas reserves that are greater than Saudi Arabia’s, but current federal policies prevent extracting those supplies from our own territory.

“I think we need to be independent here as much as possible,” Latham says, “do it as soon as possible.” On Friday President Obama called for ending “unwarranted subsidies” to the oil industry that he said cost American taxpayers five-billion dollars annually. Latham opposes any effort to reduce the federal subsidies for the oil industry.

“I think at this point in time with the economy in the state it is, it’s the wrong time to raise taxes on anyone,” Latham says. Latham, a Republican from Ames, made his comments this weekend during an appearance on Iowa Public Television