Over the past few weekends, I’ve held multiple events in my largely rural south-central Michigan district to hear firsthand how high gas prices are affecting my constituents. One single mother offered remarks which I found particularly memorable.
She shared how she drives an hour, from Adrian to Ann Arbor, each way to the hospital where she works. Because of high gas prices, she recently requested and received permission to begin working back to back 8 hour shifts, two days per week, so she doesn’t have to make the hour long commute each day.
This remarkable woman then shared something that really struck me. She said that in a couple years, when her daughter turns 16, handing her daughter the keys to the family car will be an extremely stressful experience. But unlike when she was a teenager and her father was worried about her driving abilities and the car’s safety, this mother is worried she won’t be able to afford to pay for the gas her daughter will use to take the family car out and have a good time.
This is just one example of how real Americans outside the D.C. beltway are struggling to pay for gas. All across our great country and especially in rural areas, Americans can barely afford prices over $4 a gallon.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress will not allow any legislative action to increase American energy production. Instead they continue to push for tax increases on energy and offer silly proposals like having trial lawyers sue OPEC and requiring oil companies to drill on land where oil likely does not exist. The Democrat plan to tax, sue and mandate the Jed Clampett oil exploration method (no scientific research, just drill on the ground you have) will surely fail.
Republicans in the House are working daily to push for more American energy production. We have introduced, fought for and demanded votes on legislation to immediately drill in places like the Gulf of Mexico, ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf and to increase our refinery capacity.
By passing Republican energy legislation, we could bring more American-produced gasoline to the market and lower gas prices. In my district, I’ve held numerous events related to energy policy to try and loudly proclaimed to my constituents my efforts to increase American energy production. House Republicans across the country are doing the same while the Democrat Leadership stands in the way.
Tim Walberg is currently in his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Michigan’s Seventh District, which includes Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee counties and parts of Calhoun and Washtenaw counties.