JOE WILSON: Common sense energy approach could help lower gas prices

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Each summer as South Carolina families take to the roadways for vacation, they inevitably face rising prices at the pump. Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, gas prices soared to a six-year high. Most drivers paid 15 to 20 cents more per gallon than expected.

Driving a car is an integral part of American life. We use them to get to work, drop our children off at school and enjoy our free time. When the cost of gas goes up, we have no choice but to cut back on other spending in order to go about our lives. As Americans pay more for basic essentials – from health care premiums to groceries to utility bills – Congress is acting to lower prices at the pump in hopes of alleviating some stress associated with everyday life.

Production of the Keystone XL Pipeline would ensure a decrease in costs by promoting American energy independence and creating jobs. A recent Washington Post-ABC National poll found that 65 percent of Americans approve of this job-creating project. Democrats, Republicans and Independents all agree that building this pipeline is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has single-handedly prevented the project’s construction for years citing erroneous environmental concerns.

House Republicans have passed several pieces of legislation to move the Keystone XL Pipeline forward. Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Senate refuses to take up these pieces of legislation.

As House Republicans continue to advocate for immediate action that will provide relief for American energy consumers, some members of Congress have suggested increasing the federal gas tax between 15 and 18 cents per gallon. Raising taxes will never provide relief for American families.

A few weeks ago, the House passed H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Work. This piece of legislation takes common sense approaches such as increased energy exploration and production. Adopting an actual “all-of-the-above” energy policy will spur travel across the country and will certainly be advantageous for the Palmetto State. Smart pro-growth policies to wean our dependence on foreign oil, spur domestic job growth and drive down prices are the answer to our problem: not raising taxes or rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Aiken Standard

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