Fill "er up -- with high prices at the pump, this is one phrase you don't hear all that often. Whether it's at the gas station, the store, or in the form of increased shipping costs, high gas prices have a very damaging impact on budgets and bottom lines. Not only do these high prices hurt your pocketbook today, but they also hinder America's economic recovery going forward and create even more uncertainty for job creators.
Over the past few weeks, I have made several stops around the 6th Congressional District to hear more about the direct impact of high gas prices. At Lawrence Transportation in Botetourt County, we discussed the increased costs for trucking companies and small businesses. In Raphine, I stopped by the White's Travel Center. Many convenience store owners have said the same thing: high prices at the pump mean people have less money left to come inside and make a purchase.
I also held two "Pumping for Patrons" events in Mt. Crawford and Forest. While pumping gas for constituents, I talked with them about high gas prices. It was great to hear from folks firsthand. Although we have seen some relief at the pump recently, no one was happy with the price of a tank of gas. Some drivers are spending hundreds of dollars each week just to keep their car on the road. In fact, recent estimates indicate that on average American families are spending nearly $200 more a month on gas than they were just over two years ago.
As these high gas prices continue to have a profound effect on our economy, House Republicans know that increasing access to American energy sources will create private sector jobs, grow our economy, and reduce our nation's dependence on Venezuelan, Nigerian and Middle Eastern oil. That is why we have been promoting an all-of-the-above energy approach that includes development of alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear, geothermal, and biomass, along with clean coal and American made oil and natural gas.
So far the House of Representatives has passed, with my strong support, seven pieces of legislation designed to boost energy production from the vast supply of resources in the U.S. Additionally, I have introduced legislation to allow for the exploration of natural gas and crude oil in Virginia's waters of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
High gas prices are squeezing the life out of our economy. Nearly every American is feeling the direct impact of our inability to set a national energy policy. House Republicans will continue fighting for an all-of-the-above energy policy, like the American Energy Initiative, which maximizes American energy production, stabilizes prices and perhaps most importantly creates hundreds of thousands of American jobs ensuring economic prosperity.