Kansans Need Relief from Rising Fuel Prices
As the price of oil reached an eleven month high of $75 per barrel last week, Congressman Jerry Moran today called on Congress to develop a comprehensive energy policy to reduce American dependence on foreign oil. Moran spoke to the U.S. House of Representatives and advocated for a policy that includes conservation, renewable energy, increased domestic exploration and production, and expansion of refinery capacity.
"The cost of fuel to get to work, heat and cool homes, and operate farm machinery is felt immediately by working families when energy prices increase," Moran said. "If we can replace even a portion of the oil we import from volatile regions with domestic oil, natural gas and renewable energy, we can reduce the occurrence of price swings and decrease the adverse impact on the American consumer."
Moran spoke to Congress about the need to develop an energy policy that utilizes and expands all forms of renewable energy, including biofuels, wind energy, solar energy and geothermal energy. Kansas is already supplying America with renewable sources of energy and has the potential to help even more. Large amounts of corn, sorghum and soybeans are produced for use in biofuels and Kansas also has potential to grow feedstock for the newly emerging sector of cellulosic ethanol. In the coming months, it is expected that Kansas will be the site of one of the first industrial-sized cellulosic ethanol plants in the nation. Wind energy is another valuable energy source as it is the cheapest form of renewable energy and has zero emission. Moran noted, however, that it is necessary for wind energy to be supplemented by existing nuclear or fossil fuel facilities to generate energy as a means when the wind is not blowing.
For U.S. refineries, Moran spoke about the importance of finding a way to protect the environment without imposing onerous regulations that prevent expansion and stop facilities from being built. The last refinery built in the U.S. was in 1976 and more than 100 have closed since the 1980s.
Finally, Moran advocated for policy that encourages conservation and efficiency. Moran has sponsored legislation to enact achievable standards that will lead to the production of more efficient vehicles, including increased fuel economy standards and decreased carbon dioxide emissions for vehicles. Congress should also encourage individuals to conserve by providing tax credits for constructing and updating buildings with energy efficient technologies.
"We have heard it said that we cannot drill our way out of this problem,'" Moran said. "Conservation practices or the production of renewable energy alone will not get us out of the problem either. It will take a combination of all of these resources together to move away from our reliance on foreign oil."