Today, U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) announced his targeted approach to reducing energy costs for all Americans. Brown's measures include initiatives that would lower energy costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The status quo is not acceptable when it comes to our energy policy; we need to both increase domestic energy production from all sources and take additional steps to conserve energy.
"Hello, I'm Scott Brown and I have the honor of representing Massachusetts in the United States Senate.
"As everyone knows, energy prices are at an all-time high right now. In Massachusetts, gas costs almost four dollars a gallon, while electric and home heating oil prices are some of the highest in the entire country.
"With families' budgets already stretched during this tough economy, Bay State families are now spending more on energy than ever before. That's why I am focused on initiatives that will help lower energy costs, increase domestic production and reduce our country's reliance on foreign oil. The status quo is not acceptable when it comes to our energy policy.
"First, I am introducing legislation that would give a tax credit to individuals and businesses that convert their gas-powered vehicles into hybrids. In Massachusetts, we have companies that are able to retrofit standard vehicles with hybrid batteries, and we should encourage consumers and business to take advantage of this technology. Doing so will reduce demand for gasoline, decrease fuel costs, and create battery manufacturing jobs right here at home.
"I am also co-sponsoring legislation that will make energy costs fully transparent for consumers and businesses. Right now, there is little information available about how much energy a person is using except for a monthly bill. Called the Electric Consumer Right to Know Act, my bill will make energy usage available in real time, making it easier for ratepayers to see how much energy they are using and decide where they can cut back or save.
"With costs already so high, it is important we make sure that publicly-funded energy projects are using measures to control costs for ratepayers. That's why I will be introducing legislation that would require an independent, third-party review of all costs in the development of these projects. This will ensure that energy companies are using your hard-earned tax dollars efficiently.
"I believe that any effort to seriously bring down costs involves using less energy, while also finding more. We must start developing more of the domestic sources of energy here at home in an environmentally-friendly way. We need to take an all-of-the-above approach, and this includes drilling, wind, solar, clean coal, natural gas and bio-fuels. Everything must be on the table.
"These targeted measures are positive steps in the right direction toward reducing energy costs for families and businesses. Our economic recovery depends on us putting partisanship aside and finding common sense solutions to this very serious problem. As always, I stand ready to work with anyone on either side of the aisle to help move our country forward on this very important issue.
"Thank you for listening."