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Hillsdale Daily News: Gas Prices

January 25, 2013
Opinion Editorial

Gas prices have more than doubled over the last 30 months, America remains heavily dependent on foreign nations for our energy needs, and tens of thousands of American jobs have been lost due to the halting of permits for drilling.  This wrongheaded path is totally unacceptable, which is why I and my House colleagues are working to increase American energy production and move our nation toward energy independence.  There are three key areas that together will lower gas prices, make us less dependent on foreign energy, and encourage American job creation.

First, we need to allow for more drilling and the construction of more refineries.  The Obama Administration is currently holding up permits for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, causing exploration rigs and American jobs to literally move to Brazil, Congo, Egypt, and Nigeria.  We recently passed through the House legislation to put the Gulf of Mexico back to work, producing more American energy.  Additionally, I have cosponsored legislation to expand energy exploration in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf.

Second, America needs to build a broad energy portfolio.  I have cosponsored H.R. 909, A Road Map to America's Energy Future, which expands coal-to-liquid fuels, nuclear energy, renewable energy technologies, and the oil shale and tar sands efforts.

Third, we absolutely must stop efforts to implement a regulatory scheme known as ‘cap and trade' that will impose devastating energy taxes on families, farmers and businesses throughout our country.  Michigan families cannot afford higher energy taxes.  I introduced legislation, H.R. 750, to prevent Washington bureaucrats from circumventing Congress to put in place a regulatory ‘cap and trade' energy tax system that would raise gas and utility prices higher and destroy millions of jobs.  A bill similar to mine recently passed the U.S. House.

We have a clear choice.  We can increase American energy production to lower prices for families and businesses, or America can simply do nothing while energy costs eat up more of our family budgets and slow our economy.  We can increase American energy production to take care of our energy needs for national security purposes, or America can remain dependent on foreign nations.  We can allow American businesses to compete in the global marketplace, or America can burden our businesses with energy taxes, making it more difficult to compete against China.

As I meet with many of you and travel throughout south central Michigan, I hear from you and agree that we cannot wait any longer to expand American energy production.  We must increase our exploration for more American energy now.  We must build more refineries now.  We must expand nuclear, renewable and oil shale technologies now.  Bottom line, we must become more energy independent now, and encourage job creation here at home.  My colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives hear you and we are taking bold, concrete steps to increase energy production.  We hope the Senate and President will follow suit.

This editorial was published in the Hillsdale Daily News on May 10, 2011.