By U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill
Missourians are struggling to make ends meet just like many families across the United States. They're looking to cut costs where they can and it is no secret that one of their biggest burdens is the rising cost of energy.
With the coldest months of winter upon us, higher heating bills are stretching budgets to the max. We must recognize the realities of the family budget and the realities of our infrastructure and try to find commonsense energy solutions that are practical, accessible and affordable.
That is why I've been traveling to every corner of Missouri visiting with men and women who quite literally are keeping our lights on-from rural electric cooperatives and coal-fired utilities to state-of-the-art research laboratories and rock quarries that are finding new and efficient ways to use and produce energy.
This has been an opportunity for me to learn what tools energy producers and consumers need to help meet our growing energy demands without raising costs on Missourians. As most of us Missourians know, finding the solution to affordable and reliable energy for our future will only come if we listen to all sides and work together.
Missouri is just one of many states that rely heavily on coal to produce affordable and accessible energy. Ensuring Missouri is not unfairly penalized because we are a coal-dependent state has been and will continue to be my number one priority. This is why I have opposed the failed "Cap and Trade" legislation and instead opted for an all-options energy policy that focuses on commonsense, practical solutions.
I've learned a lot over the past month, and I look forward to bringing those lessons back with me to Washington. One thing I know for sure is that Missouri families must be protected. We must move forward with the future of energy production in this country, but punishing those who are struggling the most is not the way to go about meaningful policy changes.
Claire McCaskill is the senior U.S. Senator from Missouri..