The recent warm weather is not the only sign that spring has come early to Kentucky. As drivers across the Commonwealth know all too well, gas prices are high and expected to get higher in the spring and summer months.
Kentuckians are paying an average of $3.69 per gallon at the pump now, and some predict we could very easily see that price go as high as $5 per gallon by this summer as demand ramps up to seasonal levels. Prices that high would be unprecedented--and quite a jump from the average price of $1.85 per gallon just over three years ago, when President Obama took office.
But it's no surprise this president doesn't seem to recognize high gas prices as a problem or a pain in people's wallets. When he first ran for president, he said he took no issue with record-high gas prices, only that he "would have preferred a gradual adjustment" to get them there.
And the man he appointed to be his Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, once bragged, "Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."
Well, they're certainly on their way.
This president had his chance to show he was committed to boosting domestic energy production, lowering the price of gasoline, and creating new jobs--and he said no when he rejected the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline.
The president's consent to that single project could have brought 700,000 barrels of oil to the market each day and created thousands of jobs here in America. Yet President Obama blocked the pipeline, despite an exhaustive three-year review.
The president's anti-energy policies have also taken direct aim at Kentuckians. Regulations recently handed down from his Environmental Protection Agency are targeted at Kentucky coal power plants and will affect electricity rates for all of us.
The regulations will require coal power plants to install extremely expensive new Washington-mandated processes, with those costs passed along to the consumer in the form of higher prices for electricity. The regulations also threaten the jobs of over 1,400 Kentuckians that work in aluminum smelter plants, plus Kentucky's approximately 18,000 coal miners and the industries that support them.
The regulations will cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year. The coal industry is essential to Kentucky's economy and a vital part of America's domestic energy supply--but President Obama's policies put it directly in the crosshairs.
At a time when many Kentucky families are already making tough financial decisions, it's unbelievable that this administration wants to raise electric prices for those families now and make those decisions even harder. It's just another example of how President Obama's energy policies have failed this country.
As U.S. Senate Republican Leader, I'm working to pass legislation to rein in President Obama's EPA and halt its job-killing energy regulations. Unlike the president, I believe in an all-of-the-above approach to energy exploration--we need to use every resource available to boost domestic energy supply, bring down energy prices, and free America from its dependence on foreign sources of oil.
But to really make headway on this issue, we need a president who will fight for increased domestic energy production, lower costs, and more jobs on behalf of the American people.