Jul 18 -
Over the past few weekends, I’ve held multiple events in the Seventh District to hear firsthand how high gas prices are affecting my constituents. One single mother offered remarks which I found particularly memorable.
She shared how she drives an hour, from Adrian to Ann Arbor, each way to the hospital where she works. Because of high gas prices, she recently requested and received permission to begin working back to back 8 hour shifts, two days per week, so she doesn’t have to make the hour long commute each day.
This remarkable woman then shared something that really struck me. She said that in a couple years, when her daughter turns 16, handing her daughter the keys to the family car will be an extremely stressful experience. But unlike when she was a teenager and her father was worried about her driving abilities and the car’s safety, this mother is worried she won’t be able to afford to pay for the gas her daughter will use to take the family car and go out with friends.
This is just one example of how real Americans outside the D.C. beltway are struggling to pay for gas. All across our great country and especially in rural areas, Americans can barely afford prices over $4 a gallon. With wheat harvesting just beginning, high gas prices will mean higher costs for our family farmers as they harvest and transport this year's crop to market.
Meanwhile, leaders in Congress will not allow any legislative action to increase American energy production. Instead they continue to push for tax increases on energy and offer silly proposals like having trial lawyers sue OPEC and requiring oil companies to drill on land where oil likely does not exist. This plan to tax, sue and mandate the Jed Clampett oil exploration method (no scientific research, just drill on the ground you have) will surely fail. In fact, these proposals will likely produce less American energy.
Along with many of my colleagues, I am working daily to push for more American energy production. We have introduced, fought for and demanded votes on legislation to immediately drill in places like the Gulf of Mexico, ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf and to increase our refinery capacity. We are also pushing bills to expand the development of alternative energies and build new nuclear power plants.
By passing these reasonable energy proposals, we could bring more American-produced gasoline to the market and lower our energy bills. Yet, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to even allow a vote on these common sense solutions.
This week I sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging Congressional action to bring down high gas prices before Congress goes on summer recess. The full letter is available at walberg.house.gov/blog. In the letter, I state, “To solve America’s energy crisis, the House of Representatives needs to act now.” I believe the longer we wait to address energy prices, the greater the national security risk high prices become. America simply cannot continue to rely on large amounts of imported Middle East oil and Americans should not have to send hundreds of billions of dollars overseas because Congress has failed to allow American energy production.
In the coming weeks, I am going to continue fighting to at least hold a vote on the House floor to increase American energy production. As I do this, I need your help.
Just as with the woman I referenced above, I need examples and stories of how my constituents are struggling to pay for gas. If you have the time, please send me your personal experience. You can either leave a comment on my blog walberg.house.gov/Blog or email me at walberg.house.gov/email/zipauth.
With your help, we can continue building momentum for increased American energy production. It’s time for a forthright debate on the House floor that will give the American people a chance to have their voices heard.