Weekly Columns

What Can Be Done To Lower Gas Prices?

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Washington, April 17, 2011 | comments

Gasoline prices are rising extremely fast, and everyone is feeling the pain at the pump.  Today, we’re suffering because for too long we haven’t had a national energy policy.  While there’s no quick fix, we must lift harmful regulations contributing to the rise in cost and allow more domestic gas and oil production.  This will move us towards energy independence and ensure these prices are not a permanent fixture.

Gasoline prices peaking at $5 per gallon in some areas of our country is certainly cause for concern. According to a recent poll in the Washington Post, 70 percent of Americans say high gas prices are causing “serious” financial hardships in their everyday lives.  High gasoline prices in 2008 contributed to our nation’s deep recession, and our nation still hasn’t fully recovered economically.

In 2008, with fuel prices above $4 per gallon, then-candidate Obama promised to improve our nation’s ability to produce energy that would ease the price at the pump.  To date, the only policies President Obama has implemented are moratoriums on drilling in the Gulf, and increased regulations on carbon emissions through cap-and-trade and on natural gas production.  All of his energy policies have a common theme –  they raise, rather than lower, the cost of energy and further burden small businesses and families.

We must favor policies that lower fuel prices and lift regulations that are contributing to even higher petroleum and energy prices.  Since failing to pass their flawed cap-and-trade legislation, the Administration has been using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as backdoor to implement new harmful regulations and energy taxes.  Recently, the House passed H.R. 910, The Energy Tax Prevention Act, in order to prevent the EPA from promulgating any regulation relating to climate change under the Clean Air Act

While I agree with the president that we need to invest in the energy of tomorrow, the fact is, we cannot get to that point unless we address the current energy crisis. In the short-term, we must take steps to ensure our nation is not held hostage to the prices set by the Middle East.  That means we need to look for new sources of oil in Alaska, on the Outer Continental Shelf and from shale in the west.  We need to use American innovation to accelerate technology that burns coal in a cleaner way because it is an abundant energy source in our country.  We also need to build new liquefied natural gas facilities, which will increase our natural gas supply. Over the long run, I believe we need to develop and implement new alternative energy sources and technologies. 

The bottom line is we need an “all-of-the-above” energy policy to lower the unsustainable fuel price for many who are already financially stretched thin. We must pass sound energy legislation that puts us on the road to energy independence.

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Tags: Energy