Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Pain at the Gas Pump Rises

While the continuing drip, drip, drip of the price to Americans for the rising price at the gas pump, the oil and gas industry presents a story of ideological political theory gone wrong.

The energy sector is crucial to our economic growth, and high energy costs have a major impact on job creation. We have an abundant supply of natural resources in America that we must use to meet our nation's energy needs. We need policies that allow us to harness our own resources, develop new sources of energy, and create jobs here at home.

Over the past 220 years, America has created the greatest economic success story in the history of the world. Our innovative society has dramatically improved the length and quality of life for billions of people around the globe. This same ingenuity must be unleashed to meet our energy and employment needs. House Republicans are taking immediate action through our American Energy Initiative by passing bipartisan legislation to expand energy exploration and production. This will help create American jobs, grow our economy, and enhance our security

House Republicans formally introduced the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7), which will support American job creation by removing government barriers to long-term economic growth, particularly in the production of American-made energy. The bill lowers government barriers to responsible production of American-made energy and uses the revenues to repair and improve America’s transportation infrastructure, which is critical to our economy’s ability to function. By lowering government barriers to American energy production and reforming the process by which Washington funds infrastructure projects, the bill will support the creation of more than one million private-sector jobs, lower gas prices, and repair our nation’s roads and bridges – with no earmarks.

You may have noticed the price of gas at the pump is rising again, as you fill up your own car or truck. The price of gas was $1.89 per gallon on the day President Obama was inaugurated. Now experts in the industry are predicting over $4.00 per gallon pricing in the coming months. Some spots are already experiencing $4.00 per gallon prices.

f you’ve filled up your gas tank recently, chances are you’ve noticed gas prices are already going up again. In fact, the Los Angeles Times says prices at the pump are rising quickly and could reach “some of the highest levels ever this year.” Republicans have a plan to address high gas prices – and create more than a million new private-sector jobs in the process: the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act.

“Gasoline prices could soon hit $4 a gallon,” reports ABC News. These high fuel costs are a drag on our still struggling economy, hurting families and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers. To help ease prices, ABC highlights the need for an “increase in domestic gasoline production” to “lessen U.S. dependency on more expensive imported fuel.” The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act removes government barriers that keep that from happening.

For example, the Republican plan requires approval of the popular Keystone XL pipeline which will create tens of thousands of jobs and carry oil from both Alberta and the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

The bill also lifts President Obama’s moratorium on energy exploration and requires the administration to move forward on lease sales in the most resource-rich offshore areas. It opens a small portion of ANWR that was first set aside in 1980 for oil and natural gas development. And it opens up new western areas for oil shale production, and creates a clear set of rules to promote investment in oil shale.

Altogether these reforms will create more than a million new private-sector jobs. They will also help address rising gas prices which are reaching higher levels faster than ever before.

House Republicans have a four part plan to increase energy production and create more than a million jobs along the way:

* Lifting President Obama’s drilling ban, requiring the administration to lease offshore areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources. Louisiana State University professor Dr. Joseph R. Mason estimates that unlocking these resources will create more than one million new American jobs;
* Opening a small portion of ANWR’s 19 million acres in the North Slope, an area set aside by Congress and President Jimmy Carter for oil and natural gas development. Alaskan leaders and job creators told the House Natural Resources Committee “development of ANWR” would “create tens of thousands of jobs”;
* Approving the Keystone XL pipeline supported by a bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate, governors, labor unions, editorial boards, and a majority of the American people. President Obama rejected this project which would create tens of thousands of new jobs and – according to National Journal – help “minimize the odds” of future gasoline price spikes; and
* Setting clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promoting shale technology research and development. The Heritage Foundation says the amount of energy “available through oil shale is staggering” – “six times Saudi Arabia’s current proven oil reserves,” according to the Natural Resources Committee. More energy production will help address rising prices at the pump.

This administration continues to be aided by the Democratically controlled Senate in its fantasy of destroying the American oil and gas industry. Fossil fuel is the enemy to them and some sort of pie in the sky dreams are the norm in their breathless anticipation of a world run on so-called green energy. Seen as out of step with most Americans, the all of the above approach makes the most sense in moving ahead to meet our country's energy needs. All of the above - oil and gas drilling and production, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, electric, everything.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is now over $100 again. Here is a snapshot of the closing price of oil over the past month as it ended Thursday at $102.29:

Washington debates and hesitates. The rest of us continue to scramble to pay the bills. Subscribing to the all of the above approach would ease our pain at the pump.

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