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Legislative Update: Our Nation's Energy Future


Location: Washington, DC

Although we've seen a slight drop in fuel prices over the past few weeks, the instability and fluctuation of energy prices continues to be a burden for too many people. We must reduce our dependence on foreign oil while also ensuring that there is stability and affordability in the energy market. Our continued economic recovery and national security depends on it.

In Congress, I serve on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and we deal with a number of issues that affect this nation's energy future. The most effective way to lower energy prices in the short term and strengthen our energy security in the long term is to take a multifaceted, all-of-the-above approach to our energy challenges.

Some say we need to drill more and others say we need to invest in alternative energies, but we can and we must do both. That's why I've introduced a bill in Congress to drill more here at home for oil and natural gas and then use the lease and royalty revenues from the drilling to make the single largest investment in the history of our country in alternative and renewable energies.

We've depended on foreign sources for energy for far too long and it's past time to focus on American-made energy again in this country. That's why I'm a firm believer in natural gas. It already supplies almost one-fourth of all energy in the U.S. and we're discovering more natural gas reserves every day thanks to newer, safer drilling techniques and technologies. Better yet, more than 98 percent of natural gas comes from right here in North America. It's also much cleaner than diesel or gasoline.

I'm also very proud that Arkansas is at the forefront of our nation's natural gas production, ranking 7th out of the 32 natural gas-producing states. With the Fayetteville Shale in the northern part of the state and the Haynesville Shale in the southern part, we have an abundant supply of clean, affordable energy to offer the world.

As a member of the Natural Gas Caucus in Congress, I am also a proud cosponsor of the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 (or NAT GAS Act), H.R. 1380, which would help provide incentives to get more natural gas-powered vehicles on America's roads, again helping to put Arkansas in a position to lead on this issue.

With serious investments in technologies like compressed natural gas, we have an opportunity to reduce our dependence on foreign oil in a way that creates jobs here in Arkansas, protects our environment and lowers the price of fuel for all Americans.

Natural gas is not only helping our nation secure its own energy future with domestic, home-grown energy, but it is also bringing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to the state of Arkansas. We are making tremendous progress to not only help families get more affordable energy, but to also thrust Arkansas to the forefront with an opportunity to become our country's top producing natural gas state.

As your Congressman, I will continue working with both Democrats and Republicans to address our nation's energy crisis and to stabilize the long-term price of energy. And with natural gas, we have an opportunity to reduce our dependence on foreign oil in a way that creates jobs here in Arkansas, protects our environment and lowers the price of fuel for all Americans.

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