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Posted: June 26, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Tools are available to solve energy woes

Whether you are the farmer or a parent driving your child to Little League ball games, the rising cost of fuel is having an impact on your life and pocketbook.

Fuel costs are an important part of the business owner's bottom line and a family's monthly budget. With yet another summer of out-of-control fuel prices, it is time that we use all of America's resources to develop long-term solutions that will provide us with stable, affordable, domestic sources of energy.

Last March, the average price of a gallon of gas in Georgia was $2.63. As I write this, it will cost you 40-50percent more than that. In a recent poll, I asked constituents how the high price of gas has affected their families. Fifty-one percent of respondents agreed that high costs are disproportionately affecting their financial decisions and their family's budget. Twenty-seven percent are being forced to cut back on spending for clothing, movies, and eating out with their families.

The price at the pump influences the cost of essential goods such as groceries, making it even harder for Americans working to put food on the table. Energy costs are even reflected in our tax bills because of the increasing costs of heating state and local government buildings and running school buses. One respondent commented, "Boy did your email survey come on a bad day.

On my way to work, I noticed that gas prices jumped $0.15 to $3.99 per gallon." People all across America are seeing the same thing and asking for real solutions. The president and Congress have a responsibility to provide them.

I believe in an all-of-the-above approach to energy independence that addresses our short term problems while also developing long-term solutions that will provide stable energy sources for years to come. Commenting on the same online poll, another constituent wrote, "We are really hurting out here as a result of the high fuel costs. We really, really need to do whatever it takes to get the cost of fuel down, not later, but now!" We must use the resources we have to provide some relief in the short term.

We have significant reserves of oil, natural gas and coal that become more accessible every day as our technology improves. The more of these domestic sources that we can utilize now, the less we will be subject to disruptions in foreign oil supplies. With this in mind, I voted for H.R. 1229, H.R. 1230 and H.R. 1231 to lift the president's ban on offshore drilling and get Americans back to work harvesting our energy resources now. I also voted for H.R. 910, which would prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases and driving our energy costs up even more.

We have the tools to solve our energy problems. Now we have to begin using them. When energy prices are driving up the cost of everything from a tank of gas to a home power bill to a sack of groceries, we must pursue every option available to us. In the U.S. House, we've been working to free up the bureaucratic roadblocks that are standing in the way. We'll keep pursuing an agenda of American energy, American entrepreneurism and American jobs so that we can bring down energy prices, revive our economy and secure our future.

Contact U.S. Eighth District Rep. Austin Scott (R) through his website, austinscotthouse.gov.

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