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By Congressman Robert Hurt
This past week, I traveled throughout Southside visiting communities along Route 58 to discuss the impact of high energy prices. After making over 30 stops, it is clear that 5th District Virginians continue to suffer from Washington’s failure to adopt a sensible energy policy.
From Brunswick County to the City of Martinsville, the same message rang clear: the cost of energy is having a significant negative impact on our local communities, small businesses, and our farmers. Not only is there pain at the pump, but high fuel prices have triggered higher prices across the board, making it difficult for our small businesses to operate successfully.
At a time when our economy is struggling and we are facing an unacceptably high unemployment rate, we should be doing everything we can to make it easier for our small businesses to succeed – not harder. Instead of handing down job-crushing red tape, Washington should enact policies that will spur economic growth and create the jobs that we so desperately need.
That is why I have taken action to promote responsible energy policies in Washington. For example, I am a cosponsor of the Virginia Jobs and Energy Act. This legislation would open the area off the coast of Virginia for energy development - helping to create jobs in Virginia while reducing fuel prices on hardworking families and small businesses. Additionally, the House of Representatives recently passed the Northern Route Approval Act, legislation that will take the decision to approve the Keystone Pipeline out of the hands of the President and put it into the hands of Congress. After more than four years of delay, it is time that President Obama approve the construction of the pipeline, which will create 20,000 American jobs and jumpstart our local economies by bringing down the cost of fuel. How much longer will 5th District Virginians and Americans everywhere have to wait for affordable energy, economic growth, and jobs?
It is time for Washington to listen to Americans across our country. The House of Representatives has led the fight and will continue to take action to deliver a commonsense energy policy. It is my hope that the Senate and President Obama will join us in supporting policies that will lower fuel prices, create jobs, and reduce the burden on our families and small businesses.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120