FRANKLY SPEAKING: Getting Serious About Skyrocketing Gas Prices

If you’re like me, there’s one trip you dread making each week. It seems like every time you pull into a filling station, the price of gas has gone up yet again.

That’s because it has. Gas prices have been steadily climbing for several weeks. Energy experts say the only question is how high will they go? Many forecasters are calling for a return of $4 a gallon soon, with others predicting $5 a gallon to follow not too far down the road.

Higher prices are already putting the squeeze on everyone. And if prices keep increasing as expected, people will soon have to cut back on spending for other things just to pay for a fill-up.

That has folks asking, “What can be done to provide relief at the pumps?”

For starters, we can pass legislation that would significantly increase our energy supplies, and thus drive down the retail prices you and I pay. I actively support an “all the above approach” for meeting our energy needs. That means getting serious about expanding the production of natural gas and clean coal. That means increasing oil production by responsibly opening new areas for drilling. That means removing restrictive regulations and encouraging innovations for various alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear, geothermal and biomass.

Diversifying our energy resources would also go a long way in freeing us from the clutches of overseas nations who don’t have America’s best interest at heart. Like many of you, I’m tired of events in the Middle East determining how much we pay for gas in Manchester. I’ve had enough of hostile foreign nations’ oil exports influencing how much people pay for gas in Somersworth. We must stop being hostage to global petroleum schemes, so people in Wolfeboro can have a reliable source of affordable energy.

The House took a big step toward energy independence two weeks ago by passing the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security (PIONEERS) Act. It is a bipartisan plan to expand offshore energy production, safely open small parts of ANWR for oil and natural gas production, encourage the development of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in the West, and approve the much-needed Keystone XL pipeline in a bipartisan vote.

Unfortunately, like so many dozens of important bills passed by the House in the past 14 months, the PIONEEERS Act is drawing dust in the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to act on it. And who is suffering as a result? You are. The Obama Administration and Senate leaders are willing to let your family struggle under the financial hardship of higher gas prices because they’re blocking legislation like the PIONEERS Act for political reasons. One of their objections is a provision calling for the Keystone XL Pipeline to become a reality.

The Keystone XL Pipeline Project would run from Alberta, Canada through the Great Plains states, carrying crude oil to delivery points in Oklahoma and Texas. Three years of research found it would be environmentally safe. Its 1,661 miles of 36 inch wide pipes would deliver up to 830,000 barrels of oil every single day… oil that would otherwise go to China. A Department of Energy analysis says that supply boost would seriously reduce our reliance on Middle East oil.

We were taught a basic lesson in school: prices are determined by supply and demand. With global demand for oil shooting up, supplies are going down. Shrinking Supply + Increasing Demand = Outrageously High Gas prices for you and me.

We have the ability to lower gas prices. All we have to do is muster the will to instruct Washington in forceful terms that we, the people, are expecting them to act and increase oil supplies for all of us.
Until it does, count on spending a bigger chunk of your paycheck at the gas pump each week.
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington. In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contact me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov. You can also follow what I’m doing 24/7 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repfrankguinta and on Twitter at @RepFrankGuinta.

Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and am actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.

Author: Staff Reporter

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