Yesterday, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) and Congressman Robert Dold (IL-10) visited the UPS facility in Addison to discuss how fluctuating energy prices impact the economy, especially in the Chicago area, which is a major transportation and freight hub:
"It's great to see companies take the initiative on technologies and best practices to reduce energy use and stabilize costs," said Rep. Roskam. "I only wish we could say the same about federal policy--despite years of being at the mercy of fluctuating fuel prices, America lacks a broad, common-sense energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil. We need to fully utilize our resources here at home to create a stable economic future and unleash American innovation in the energy sector so families don't have to dread going to the gas station to fill up their tanks or worry about ever-increasing energy bills each month."
"Gas prices put a strain on the family budget, but they also raise prices on the cost of food and other goods and services that we all rely on," said Rep. Dold. "Here in Illinois we pay well over the national average for a gallon of gas and government regulations mandate that Illinois families buy a special blend of gasoline for our vehicles. We need to come together and utilize an "all-of-the-above" approach to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil and keep jobs here at home by investing in our natural resources and domestic sources of oil."
Illinois families face challenges due to increasing energy costs not only at the gas pump, but also at the grocery store. Between 2009 and 2012:
American families are spending an increasingly high amount of their family budget gassing up their vehicles. During the last decade family spending on fuel averaged 5.7%. In 2011 that share climbed to 8.4%.
Bread has increased in price by 4.42%
A pound of ground beef have increased in price by 11.25%
A pound of apples has increased in price by 3.98%
The Chicago metropolitan area is one of the busiest transportation and freight hubs in the country. Energy-dependent industries like aviation, freight, and rail have a significant presence in the area.
In 2011, more than 85 million passengers passed through O'Hare and Midway Airports on just over 1 million flights.
Over 1.5 million tons of cargo passed through Chicago area airports in 2011 alone.
In 2007, nearly 310 million tons of freight passed through Chicago via rail.