I have been listening to much of these Hearings, and, to be honest, for much of the day, I was impressed with his answers/views, suggestions/comments. He appeared to be doing quite well in spite of some efforts to "trip him up" by some of the Members of the Committee.
Now, knowing that I will invoke the wrath of certain folks here, to also be honest, towards the end, when he was questioned about America's dependence on imported oil, and if that had an affect on how America dealt with the Countries we import oil from, verses how we deal with Countries we do not import oil form. He (in my opinion only possibly) faltered greatly.
Basically, he stated...........I have never supported Energy Independence, rather Energy Security........as well, he put forth the concept that "a barrel of oil is a barrel of oil, and it doesn't matter where it comes from."
This stumble, or possibly, simply his position on this issue caused me to truly change my thoughts of his performance greatly. To believe that how we treat Saudi Arabia and/or other Countries we import oil from that are true violators of human rights, supporters of terrorist organizations/activities, and other un-Christian actions IS NOT INFLUENCED by the fact that we depend on them for oil importation is either so naive as to be dangerous, or simply inane.
Given his background, I can understand his position, because the major Oil Companies here in the US are ALSO the major Oil Companies in many Countries around the world, and their over all profit depends on their being a player on a world wide basis. So, while I would expect this position from him as CEO of Exxon Mobile, I believe it is a dangerous position as Sect. of State.
Energy Independence, true independence, allows the US to approach our interactions with ALL NATIONS equally. As well, Energy Independence, that is, the use of our Nation's natural resources, and renewable energy sources creates jobs, grows our economy, and allows us to become able to have the bargaining chip of being able to EXPORT oil, or energy harvested from other sources, thus giving us influence over other Nations and how they do things.
Sadly, after being impressed for much of the day, and believing his Confirmation would be a "cake walk," I found myself believing that I would not (were I able) to vote for his Confirmation because of his position on America achieving Energy Independence. A "barrel of oil IS NOT just a barrel of oil." Where that barrel of oil comes from has a direct impact on our National Economy, Jobs, and our National Security. For him to not understand this, or, worse, disagree with this, would be enough for me to vote "Nay."
Sorry guys............but, for me, this is such an important issue that it is a "deal breaker." I'm sorry that he expressed these opinions/beliefs, because, as I stated, prior to this, I was impressed with him.
This instance reveals to us all how very important these "Confirmation Hearings" are, and how very important it is for all Members to have an opportunity to question the Nominee(s).
Now, having said all of this, I am quite sure he will be confirmed by the Senate, as almost all Nominees are (regardless of Political Party), but I am so very disappointed given the amount of time I invested in listening to these Hearings.