Comments: Please write Hurt , Kaine and Warner and tell them not to support dirty energy! We want 21st energy, solar, wind, wave and move away from fossil fuels!
April 29, 2014
We Must Increase Our Energy Independence and Create Jobs with the Keystone XL PipelineDear Friend,
As I have traveled across the Fifth District, I consistently hear about the variety of negative impacts that high fuel costs create. High gas prices hurt families trying to pay their bills, making it more expensive to fill their tanks and increasing the price of groceries and other goods. Rising fuel prices harm small businesses and farms that need reliable energy to operate their machinery, inhibiting their ability to succeed and grow. And energy costs impact schools, as filling up school buses takes more and more resources away from teachers and classrooms.
These examples and many others clearly demonstrate that our failure to adopt a strong national energy strategy is hindering our economic growth and burdening families at a time when we can least afford it. As the summer months with traditionally higher fuel costs approach, Washington needs to move forward with pro-growth energy policies that focus on the needs of families, small businesses, and farms.
One important step we could take right away is approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is a key piece of an all-of-the-above energy strategy aimed at reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy and giving Americans more affordable domestic energy choices. This project represents an opportunity to make our nation’s energy future more secure and will create an estimated 20,000 American jobs while investing billions into our struggling economy.
The application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline was submitted over five years ago, but the Obama administration has used a variety of tactics to delay and frustrate the project's progress. Numerous exhaustive reviews have been performed by the administration showing that the project will have limited environmental impacts and meets the requirements for approval. The House has voted to approve this project seven times with strong bipartisan support, but the president will not budge. Making matters worse, the administration recently announced that a decision on the pipeline will be postponed indefinitely. The overtly political nature of the delay likely postpones a decision until after this year’s midterm elections if not longer.
If the United States refuses to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, China will instead seize the opportunity to access Canada’s rich supply of oil and the economic growth associated with possessing greater energy resources. In this highly competitive global economy, we cannot pass up this dynamic opportunity to increase our economic output and instead allow a competitor to capture that growth.
It is time that the President and the Senate join the House in supporting the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline as the first step of an all-of-the-above energy approach that will lower gas prices, create new American jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, strengthen our national security, and make life easier for our families, Main Street businesses, and small farms.
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.
Living with 'Fracking': Where the Water Catches Fire ...
: : One day last February, the water out of Jodie Simons's kitchen faucet was running black. Simons called the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection the next morning, and two days later an agent arrived, filled a bottle from her tap, took it outside and lit the water on fire. "She told us the methane levels were so high we should keep our windows open to make sure o
ur house didn't explode," says Simons
April 28, 2014
Thank you for contacting me about Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports. I appreciate hearing your views on this important matter.
Recent innovation in the production of natural gas has dramatically changed our nation's energy portfolio. Thanks to new technologies, we can tap into shale gas reserves thousands of feet underground that were previously inaccessible. We have already seen the added benefits of increased production in the forms of lower prices, cleaner American electricity, and job growth in our nation's manufacturing sector. Only a few short years ago, energy experts were predicting the U.S. would need to import natural gas from abroad, but now we have so much that there is discussion of allowing more of it to be exported.
Exports of LNG are currently subject to approval by several federal departments, except for countries with which the U.S. has free trade agreements. Some support lifting all current restrictions and exporting LNG freely to support our domestic energy sector and to reduce international dependence on energy from Russia and the Middle East. Others oppose allowing any LNG exports due to the potential for increasing energy prices in the domestic manufacturing sector.
Considering the valid points on both sides, I believe we should pursue a careful middle ground that facilitates LNG exports on a case-by-case basis to achieve certain national security objectives. The recent crisis in Ukraine has underscored the dependence of not just Ukraine, but much of Europe on Russian natural gas, and it makes sense to help our European allies diversify their energy portfolios. Similarly, several countries have special permission to import oil from Iran despite the current sanctions regime because their economies rely heavily on it. I believe it is in our security interest to offer these countries alternatives, like U.S. LNG, to continued reliance on Iran for their energy needs.
I have cosponsored the Expedited LNG for American Allies Act of 2013, S. 192, introduced by Senator John Barrasso last year and referred to the Senate Banking Committee. The bill would help to expedite LNG exports to our NATO allies and Japan, as well as to other countries the Secretary of State determines to promote U.S. national security interests.
As we consider the economic and geopolitical ramifications on LNG exports, we should also always ensure that environmental safeguards in the gas production process are rigorously followed to avoid harm to drinking water sources. We should also think carefully before allowing exploration in sensitive areas on public lands such as national parks and forests. In light of increased scrutiny, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a long-term scientific study on the risks of fracking to drinking water quality and is expected to release the results of the study next year. You can find out more about this issue by visiting http://www.epa.gov/hfstudy/
Natural gas is a cleaner bridge fuel that reduces our emissions rates and supports jobs. We must use this technological advance as an opportunity to move to even cleaner, renewable energy in the future. We must also claim the opportunity to export LNG while strategically structuring our exports to ensure domestic prices remain low. This will help us reduce global emissions, boost our economy, and meet our national security interests.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I appreciate hearing from you.
Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Warner of Virginia