1) The Week Just Past: Finally, Some Justice
2) If You See Something
3) The House Works To "Pump Up" American Energy Production
4) Energy Committees Review America's Nuclear Energy Policy
5) Basking Ridge Students Top Congressional Arts Competition
The Week Just Past: Finally, Some Justice
"The Sunday killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden represents the "turning of a page' in America's ongoing war against violent international extremists, not the end of the story.
"While the specific planning for the strike that eliminated the CEO of al Qaeda started last year, the preparations really commenced on September 11, 2001, within hours of the attack on America that killed over 3,000 of our countrymen, including so many of our New Jersey neighbors, friends and colleagues. Since that fateful day, an incredible team of military, intelligence and foreign policy experts have been working with tireless dedication across two Presidential Administrations to deliver this blow to al Qaeda.
"I give credit to the President for making sure that his national security team stayed focused on the hunt for bin Laden and other al Qaeda terrorists. And I commend him for ordering a military strike deep inside Pakistan.
"We do owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the dedicated personnel of our military and intelligence communities. It is their skill, perseverance and determination over the years that brought us to this day. And in the weeks and months ahead, we will be relying on these same men and women to continue to fight our fight in the Global War on Terror. We must be able to reassure the American people that we are making certain that these dedicated, yet unsung heroes, have the resources and the support they need to protect us in the years ahead.
"Of course, now that bin Laden has been dealt with, we are hearing the demands for an immediate withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan. That would be a grave mistake. We did that before, and that's why we were forced to return to southwest Asia to deter, defeat and dismantle al Qaeda and its Taliban partners. Clearly, American and NATO military personnel will leave Afghanistan. But they should not until the Afghans have the capability to secure their own borders, protect their own citizens and police their own territory.
"This week, we turned the bin Laden page. While it was essential that we see "justice' for the 9-11 victims and their families, it's time for us to get down to the important work of revitalizing our economy and creating private sector jobs, tackling our dangerous and unsustainable debt and working to end our dependence on foreign sources of energy."
Recommended Reading: Charles Krauthammer in today's Washington Post, "Evil Does Not Die of Natural Causes."
If You See Something
Federal, state and local law enforcement are on guard this week for possible retaliatory attacks by terrorists associated or sympathetic with Osama bin Laden. They are asking citizens across the nation to report suspicious activity. In other words, "If you see something, say something..."
Additionally, the State Department is warning Americans worldwide of "enhanced potential for anti-American violence" following the killing of bin Laden.
"Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations," the State Department announced this week.
The House Works To "Pump Up" American Energy Production
Did you know the price for a gallon of gasoline has doubled over the last two years? The average cost per gallon has risen from slightly under $2 to almost $4 during that time.
Higher fuel costs affect so many aspects of our lives: grocery bills, travel costs, and job opportunities just to name a few. In New Jersey, the average price of gas hovers around $3.87 per gallon. Already, motorists in many parts of the country are paying well in excess of $4 a gallon. The average price is over $4 a gallon now in 14 states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
There are many reasons for this escalation, some of which are beyond our control. However, there are steps Congress and the President should take now to address rising gasoline prices.
This week, the House started work on a package of bills designed to expand U.S. energy production, generate revenue to help reduce the debt and deficit, and strengthen our national security by decreasing our dependence on foreign energy:
* The Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act(H.R. 1229)would end the Obama Administration's de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico in a safe, responsible, transparent manner by setting firm time-lines for considering permits to drill, which provide certainty and allow employers and workers to get back on the job.
* The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act(H.R. 1230) would require the Obama Administration to move forward promptly to conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that the Obama Administration has delayed or canceled.
"No source of energy, not oil, coal, or electric, can be relied on absolutely," Rodney said. "In order to provide security, both national and financial, we must diversify our supplies. And since the vast majority of our oil comes from foreign sources, the best way to diversify our supply is to expand production here at home."
Unfortunately, the White House apparently does not see it this way. In fact, the President's anti-energy policies are not just driving up gas prices. They are costing American jobs and perpetuating our dependence on foreign oil.
Here's a by-the-numbers look at how:
* 12,000 Jobs Lost, More Than 36,000 Jobs at Risk. According to a study by Louisiana State University economist Dr. Joseph Mason, the Obama Administration's de factoban on American energy production could cost as many as 24,532 jobs in the Gulf Coast region, and 36,137 jobs nationwide. By the administration's own admission, the first six months of the "official" moratorium alone resulted in as many as 12,000 jobs lost.
* 200,000 Barrel Per Day Decrease In Gulf Coast Energy Production. According to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) March 2011 "Short-Term Energy Outlook," production from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to fall by 240,000 barrels per day in 2011 and by a further 200,000 barrels per day in 2012.
* 16 Percent Decrease in American Energy Production. American energy production is already 16 percent than what it was projected to be, and future projections show continued decreases in domestic production and more foreign imports.
* 12 Rigs Gone from the Gulf. According to James Noe, Executive Director of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition, "at least 12 offshore rigs have departed the Gulf of Mexico" for Africa, Asia and South America resulting in "a significant and precipitous reduction in domestic employment and energy development."
* More Than 40 American Energy Production Projects Stalled. As the House Natural Resource Committee notes, 10 months after the Obama Administration's "official" moratorium on American Energy ended, "over 40 projects remain stalled and people are left without work," except in Cuban waters!
Recommended Reading II: April 30 editorial in the Washington Post, "The nuclear option. Americans keep the faith - mostly -- on the power source."
Energy Committees Review America's Nuclear Energy Policy
As Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Rodney was invited to participate in an important hearing this week. Two key Subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on America's nuclear energy policy.
"Nuclear power is vital to a growing economy, which will create private sector jobs in the years to come," Rodney said. "It is important to hear from ALL the members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) responsible for ensuring that we meet our current and future energy needs without sacrificing safety or security."
Licensing of new plants and new reactor designs, re-licensing existing reactors, and considering the Department of Energy's application for a license to develop and operate the repository and storage site for spent fuel and high level waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are all issues before the NRC.
Recommended Reading III: James Capretta, writing inKaiser Health Network Bulletin, "The Hypocritical And Reckless Attacks On The Ryan Medicare Plan."
Recommended Reading IV: George Will illustrates the myth that raising taxes always increases revenue for the government in his Sunday piece in the Washington Post, "Working Up A Tax Storm in Illinois."
Basking Ridge Students Top Congressional Arts Competition
Two students from Bernards Township earned top honors at the 29th Annual Congressional Arts Competition in New Jersey's 11th Congressional District. First place was awarded to Andrea Ibarra for her work, "Max."
Second place was awarded to Grace Cheung for her work, "Journey Through Equus." Both students attend Ridge High School.
"The annual Congressional Art Competition is an excellent opportunity to recognize the rich talents of our young people," Rodney said. "I commend our local high schools for encouraging their students to showcase their artistic skills in this year's competition."
A student from Madison High School, Rachel Fico, was awarded third place for her work entitled, "Within Reach."
Honorable Mention awards were given to: Alexi Corham of Towaco, attending Montville Township High School, for her work, "Alter Ego;" Jacob DeBoer from Pequannock High School for his work, "Venison Stew;" Lincoln Park's Kasia Kalemba from Boonton High School for her work, "Gone But Still Here;" Lillian Thomann from James Caldwell High School, a resident of Caldwell, for her work "The Metro."
Seventy-six students from 25 area high school participated in this year's competition. Over 150 people attended the Congressional Art competition reception at the Morris Museum.
The annual Congressional Art Competition has been promoting America's young artists for 29 years.
Recommended Reading V: Jason Riley writing in the Tuesday Wall Street Journal, "The Evidence Is In: School Vouchers Work."