U.S. Rep. Greg Walden
As summer driving season gets underway and chaos builds in the Middle East, families in Oregon continue to pay more and more at the gas station every time they fill up the tank. Everywhere I go in our state, families, farmers, ranchers, and small business owners tell me just how much of a burden skyrocketing energy prices are on their budgets.
According to AAA, gas prices in Oregon climbed again last week to a statewide average of $3.93 per gallon, well above the national average of $3.66 (making Oregon one of the top 10 most expensive states to buy gas). That average could soon climb above $4.00 per gallon, something we haven’t seen since 2012. As one southern Oregon resident told Newswatch 12 in Medford last week , “Half my grandkids live up in Portland, and I won’t get to see them as often as if gas was cheap. It’s just that easy.”
There’s a better way. Part of the solution to our energy problems is smarter consumption to reduce demand. But we simply must increase supply of American energy to lower energy costs for consumers, create good-paying jobs, and keep our nation more secure. America is on track to become the world’s leading energy superpower, but we must update our laws and cut through federal red tape to make this dream a reality.
That’s why this week the House debated and passed bipartisan bills that seek to promote an “all of the above” energy strategy, including plans to do the following:
- Increase domestic energy production to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create good, family-wage jobs here at home.
- Cut red tape to speed the processing of cross-border energy infrastructure projects (like the Keystone XL pipeline).
- Increase energy production beneath federally-owned lands.
- Encourage schools and federal agencies to use energy more efficiently
- Help expedite natural gas exports to our allies around the globe to counter the influence of bad actors like Vladimir Putin.
Families in Oregon don’t need to pay more at the pump. We can increase energy production to reduce prices so that Oregonians can keep more of their hard-earned paychecks and make America more prosperous and secure.