As I travel the 5th District, I constantly hear concerns regarding rising fuel prices that continue to negatively impact our families and small businesses and harm our much-needed economic recovery.
Last week, it was reported that gas prices have been rising steadily and are higher now than last year at this time. According to AAA, in Virginia, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline now averages $3.55 statewide -- 11 cents more than the previous week. This upward trend is affecting us all. Our small businesses, farmers, and families are suffering as a result of the Administration's refusal to advance solutions to spur job creation by enhancing our energy independence.
Recently, Vice President Joe Biden made a stop in the 5th District. While in Danville, Mr. Biden spoke of the need to keep jobs in the United States, not ship them overseas. However, the Administration's energy policies fail to match this effort as many much-needed American jobs have been put on hold as a result of its failure to lead on this issue.
The President's proposed five-year offshore drilling plan excludes Virginia, where it is estimated that offshore energy development could lead to the production of more than half a billion barrels of oil and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This eliminates the possibility of thousands of new jobs for the Commonwealth.
Furthermore, the President's denial of the Keystone XL Pipeline permit continues us down the path of stalled economic growth and dependence on foreign energy. This project would provide the opportunity for $20 billion dollars of private investment into our economy, and create 20,000 true American jobs, with hundreds of thousands more stemming from the pipeline's construction.
The House of Representatives knows that our economic recovery starts with lower fuel prices and greater energy independence. Where the Senate and the President have failed to lead, the House of Representatives has led by taking significant steps toward enacting a responsible energy policy. We have passed commonsense, bipartisan legislation that would expand domestic energy production, develop alternative resources, increase energy security by advancing the Keystone XL Pipeline, and create much-needed jobs. But these initiatives remain stalled in the Senate.
In the House of Representatives, we remain committed to addressing rising fuel prices on behalf of Central and Southside Virginians and all Americans. As fuel prices continue to rise and harm our much-needed recovery, it is my hope that the Senate and White House will do the same by taking action on these important job-creating initiatives as we work to save hard-earned taxpayer dollars at the gas pumps and preserve and create American jobs by adopting a sensible energy policy.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.