Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today met with local business leaders and members of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce to discuss the impact of rising gas prices on the local economy and its effects on area job creation.
Lance, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has championed an "all of the above" energy strategy that puts an emphasis on American-made energy production to help make our Nation more energy independent.
"Rising gas prices are placing a tremendous burden on America's economic recovery efforts and are especially hurting New Jersey's families and small businesses," said Lance. "From families driving their children to school, to small business owners trying to make payroll, the pain of rising gas prices can be felt at every level of our economy here in Hunterdon County."
Chris Phelan, the president and chief executive officer of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, David M. Rucki, executive director of the Flemington Business Improvement District and other area business leaders participated in Lance's roundtable discussion.
"Hunterdon County businesses are clearly concerned about rising gas prices, as they have a direct impact to their operations and costs," said Chris Phelan, the president and CEO of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. "Higher gas prices, like higher taxes, make it difficult for area companies to grow and hire more workers. We appreciate Congressman Lance for listening to our concerns and taking the perspectives of our local economy back to Washington so our voices can be heard."
The Seventh District lawmaker also walked Main Street in Flemington talking and listening to local business owners, shop clerks and area residents about rising energy costs.
"Seven in ten jobs in America are created by small businesses and rising gas prices are hurting small businesses' ability to expand, grow and create jobs," said Lance. "What America needs -- and what New Jersey needs -- is an all of the above energy policy that will put our Nation on a path toward more energy independence."
For his part Lance has voted for several American Energy Initiative billsto address high gas prices and help create jobs. These bills would remove government barriers to energy production, stop policies that drive up costs and promote a real "all of the above" energy plan -- including completing the Keystone XL pipeline project. Yet these measures have languished in the U.S. Senate.
The Seventh District lawmaker said that it's past time for the U.S. Senate to act.
"In the U.S. House, we have passed a number of bills on a bipartisan basis to help lower energy prices for working families and small businesses. Yet the U.S. Senate has failed to act on a single measure to bring more American-made energy to our Nation," concluded Lance.