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Jackson Cit Pat Op-ed: Policies coming out of the White House are threatening energy renaissance and job creation

August 13, 2013
Opinion Editorial

As a regular commuter across Michigan, I share your frustration with high gas and energy prices. Uncertainty about the high cost of these prices makes it harder for families to live within their budget. It also hurts Michigan's ability to regain its place as a competitive manufacturing state at a time when they are already threatened by additional federal mandates and government regulations. The president and the Senate need to work with the House in getting serious about developing an all-American, all-of-the-above energy policy that will embrace energy independence, security, and create jobs for a healthy economy.

The good news is that our country has the resources to provide abundantly for our own energy needs. New practices allow energy producers to more easily extract natural gas, coal and oil from the ground - all while doing it cheaper, safer and with less disruption to the landscape. Because of this abundance, we also find ourselves on the verge of a manufacturing revival. Encouraged by the possibilities, U.S. factories, including those here in Michigan, want to invest more in their companies and create more jobs.

However, policies coming out of the White House are threatening this energy renaissance and job creation. Projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs and is supported by labor unions, but the administration continues to dig in its heels, delaying the process. Moreover, the cost of six EPA regulations is estimated to reach as much as $111 billion each year and cause the cost of the price of electricity to rise by as much as 6.6 percent.

My colleagues and I in the House continue to be proactive in supporting and passing policies that would increase and expand domestic energy production. This summer we passed the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, requiring the Administration to move forward with offshore energy production in areas containing the greatest amount of oil and nature gas resources. We also passed the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act which improves environmental protections and protects jobs by creating a state-based program that sets enforceable federal standards, and the Energy Consumers Relief Act to help protect consumers from new $1 billion-dollar energy regulations that could lead to higher energy prices and job losses.

My colleagues and I in the House also know it's important to develop and promote alternative fuels while still supporting conservation. We need to grow our ability to produce emissions-free energy and support market-based strategies that encourage alternative energy sources. Another viable option is increasing our nuclear energy capacity. Only 20-percent of the nation's electricity is produced by nuclear power; meanwhile nations like France receive 75-percent.

At a time when estimated energy reserves are at all-time highs and continue to rise because of American ingenuity, the President needs to join us in supporting policies that creates jobs, supports manufacturing and lowers the cost the energy for everyone. If we allow energy producers the freedom to pursue the above techniques, it could put America in a position to become one of the largest and much-deserved energy producers in the world.

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