Working to Lower Energy Costs

Jun 27, 2014
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, Missouri

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, Missouri

Washington, D.C. – As of today, the national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.67. In 2009, that same gallon of gas would have cost just $2.35. As the summer sets in, gasoline prices are continuing to rise with the summer temperatures. At a time when our economy is struggling, higher gas prices will put a huge burden on working families trying to make ends meet. The rising cost of gas not only affects Missourians at the pump, it will also drive up the cost of goods and services.

This week the House of Representatives took action to help lower the price of gasoline and natural gas for all Americans. I supported H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act, that would harness the oil and natural gas resources we have right here in America. Responsibly developing these resources not only addresses rising energy costs, but also gives the private sector the ability to create good-paying jobs. By tapping into the reserves we have right here in the United States we can strengthen America’s economy as well as our energy security.

The Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act takes a three-pronged approach to lower fuel prices:
Increases Offshore Production: Since taking office, President Obama has restricted new offshore energy production, canceled lease sales, and locked-up over 85 percent of our offshore areas. In stark contrast to President Obama’s no-new-drilling, no-new-jobs plan, the House plan proposes a drill-smart, job-creation plan that would require President Obama to move forward with new offshore energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources.

Increases Onshore Production: The legislation would streamline government roadblocks and bureaucratic red-tape that block and delay onshore American energy production. The bill would reform the leasing process for onshore oil and natural gas projects on federal lands to eliminate unnecessary delays and reform the process for energy permitting.

Increases Alaskan Production: The bill would ensure that oil and natural gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska are developed and transported in a timely, efficient manner. The NPR-A was specifically established as a petroleum reserve in 1923. According to conservative estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, there are over 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

We are blessed to live in a land with abundant natural resources. We need a federal government that will get out of the way so that we can develop those resources. Not only will these projects help American families meet their energy needs, they will also create thousands of jobs in the process. America does not have to be at the mercy of foreign governments to meet our current and future energy needs. As gas prices creep higher each day we should become less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. I will continue working to develop the energy resources we have right here in North America to secure our economic future and to put more Americans to work.