Across East Alabama, folks are downright angry about the rising costs of gas and they have every reason to be. So am I.
According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.76. In February it was $3.47, so in one month, it has increased 29 cents and from the way things are going, it seems that trend will continue.
With our national unemployment at 8.3 percent and Alabama's at 8.1 percent, our economy is still bad.
Folks across Alabama and the nation are still tightening their financial belts to make ends meet. If gas prices continue to rise -- as it looks like they will -- folks may be forced to choose between filling up their tanks or their pantry.
As most folks have seen on the news recently, the situation in the Middle East continues to be in turmoil.
Just this week, I met with representatives from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Like most folks in East Alabama, I am fully supportive of our ally, Israel.
As Iran continues to pursue its rogue nuclear weapons program, the constant threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz remains.
Almost 20 percent of the world oil trade crosses through the Strait of Hormuz, so if Israel and Iran enter into a military conflict, prices could soar.
President Obama is asking other countries to step up oil production, but America doesn't just need more distant sources of oil. We need real energy solutions here at home.
For example, I wish Congress would get serious and allow the Keystone Pipeline XL to bring oil in from our friend and ally, Canada, to be refined into gasoline and help create jobs in America.
We could also do more safe drilling here at home. We could open just 3 percent of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and also drill from the Outer Continental Shelf.
President Obama highlights America's increased oil production in the US, but most of that has been on private land over which the Federal government has little control. One recent report, from the Institute for Energy Research, notes oil production on Federal lands declined by 11 percent last year.
The time is now. The American people cannot continue to have gas prices stay on the rise in the current state of our economy. Everyone in Washington must help America become energy independent, which will lower the price at the pump.
As always, contact me at www.mike-rogers.house.gov, become a fan on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter at RepMikeRogersAL and subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.