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Public Statements

The Journal Gazette - GOP Plan Sets Path to Energy Sufficiency

Op-Ed

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By Representatives Marlin Stutzman and Kevin McCarthy

A little over a year ago, House Republicans made a promise to restore the fundamental American ideal that anyone who is willing to work hard and sacrifice can succeed in America.

Our promise was enshrined in the "Pledge to America," a governing agenda which was designed to create jobs and at the same time make America more competitive, thus bolstering our nation's economic security.

While the economic demands across our country are diverse, efforts to achieve long-term economic security face an obstacle: a failed energy policy that inhibits growth and promotes uncertainty in energy costs.

From northeast Indiana across the country to Bakersfield, Calif., our economy depends on reliable sources of energy.

The clearest example of the influence energy has on our economy is the price that consumers face at the pump.

Basic economics tells us that higher gas prices force consumers to cut back spending on discretionary items.

A deeper analysis shows that in 2011, the typical U.S. household spent 8.4 percent of its income on gas for personal transportation. This was an increase from the previous decade, when Americans spent 5.7 percent of their income on gasoline.

The effect of the price of oil also has an indirect consequence to Hoosier households. As the "Crossroads of America," Indiana benefits greatly from the logistics and distribution companies that transfer goods throughout the country.

Without relief from $4-a-gallon diesel, our "Crossroads" could very well be vacant.

Unfortunately, President Obama's response to this situation is not to implement policies that would provide relief at gas stations by immediately increasing America's energy production.

Instead, the Obama Administration has been pursuing policies that seemingly embrace higher fuel prices to advance a political platform.

In fact, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has stated that his goal is to "figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."

This out-of-touch agenda will devastate American families that simply cannot afford to pay $8.36 per gallon like the Germans or $9.24 per gallon like the Italians, especially in the nation's current economic climate.

While Obama refuses to lead on this issue, House Republicans have advanced bold energy legislation to combat rising energy prices.

Most recently, the House passed the PIONEER Act, a bipartisan solution to increase energy supply immediately and put our country on the path to energy independence.

Provisions of this legislation encompass a true "all-of-the-above" approach to domestic energy production.

It would remove regulatory barriers for developing renewable energy sources on federal lands, make 3 percent of land in the Arctic coastal plain available for exploration and production that is environmentally respectful, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

It also addresses many of the administration's price-spiking regulations that have had the consequence of further limiting the supply of domestic energy.

While these are welcome steps for taxpayers across the country, there is more work ahead.

Under Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency has levied the most expensive rules in the agency's history, including rules that would cost our economy's energy sector 180,000 American jobs annually.

Just last week, GenOn Energy Inc., the third-largest U.S. independent power producer by market value, announced that it expected to shut 13 percent of its generating capacity by 2015 because of environmental regulations.

These burdensome regulations have real economic consequences for all Americans.

To uphold our "Pledge To America," House Republicans will continue to fight this administration's harmful energy agenda, and instead focus on solutions that protect existing American jobs, promote new economic growth, and secure our future.


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