One issue that makes me very worried when I consider its impact on American families is rising gas prices simply because of how much of our economy is tied to the cost of energy. With the holiday travel season just around the corner, people have not only made it clear they are extremely concerned about how much they're paying at the pump, but also about the rising costs of many goods because of higher energy prices.
Since the president took office in 2009, we've seen the price of a gallon of gas more than double. And when gas prices go up, the cost of everything, from food to other consumer goods, rises exponentially. This has put a large dent in many people's pockets which in turn has a negative impact on our ability to climb our way out of the current economic hole.
Since my arrival in Congress in 2009, I have supported an "all of the above" energy policy and have fought for lower gas prices and energy independence. In the current Congress, the House has pursued legislation to expand offshore energy production, open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and natural gas production, encourage the development of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.
This effort, known as the American Energy Initiative, is an ongoing effort by House Republicans to address rising gasoline prices and expand American energy production. The president, on the other hand, is pursuing counter-productive energy policies like regulatory restrictions on coal production and failed forays into alternative energy including the Solyndra scandal. By doing so, he is harming consumers and discouraging the production of American energy. House Republicans, on the contrary, are committed to finding sensible solutions to families' rapidly rising energy costs and putting Americans back to work.
The president clearly cannot stand on his record when it comes to energy. After rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, the president is now refusing to work with Republicans to get several House-approved, pro-growth energy bills considered in the Senate. The bills would do everything from pushing forward the development of domestic oil to eliminating needless permitting delays that have stalled important energy production opportunities.
These domestic opportunities for energy production are critical to our nation's economic health and its national security. With increasing political instability in places like the Middle East, we have an opportunity to free ourselves from the bondage of unstable and often unfriendly regimes.
It is my firm belief that by putting our country's abundant natural resources to use, we can lower prices at the pump for your family, break free from our dependence on unstable sources of foreign oil, and, perhaps most importantly, put Americans back to work. I will continue to fight for solutions that promote job growth and energy security as we move forward during uncertain times.