Michele Bachmann
I wish I could have posted about this earlier, but on Saturday, the Minnesota Republican Caucus unveiled their Declaration of Energy Independence at the Minnesota State Fair.

Freedom Dogs posted about it on Saturday, and I recommend you give it a read.

One of the most alarming statistics the Caucus points out in their release is the steep rise in heating bills Minnesotans will be faced with this winter.

Early predictions for home heating bills this winter give a potential look at the cost of inaction by Democrat leadership.  Recent news reports cite natural gas bills growing to average $1,400 this winter, up from $1,000 last winter.  Making matters worse, some customers on monthly budget plans still owe bills from last year’s exceptionally cold temperatures.  They can expect increases of up to 80 percent according to natural gas providers.

So if gas prices weren't high enough, here come your heating bills. Even T. Boone Pickins, the Democrats' favorite oil man, is in favor of a substantial increase in the production of natural gas. In fact, he'd like to eventually see all cars running on natural gas which is an admirable goal, but one that can't happen if the 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf is kept off-limits. Remember, this debate about drilling isn't only about oil but about natural gas to heat our homes and hopefully one day, fuel our cars.

I'm cautiously optimistic that when Congress reconvenes for its final three work weeks of the year, Speaker Pelosi will cast aside her partisanship and put forth a sensible and comprehensive energy plan. Yes to increased domestic drilling for oil and natural gas. Yes to investing in energy alternatives. And yes to conservation. However, all three legs of the stool must be be given equal consideration.