What happened the past few months to lower the cost of gas? Several things, but perhaps most importantly, Congress has let the ban on offshore oil exploration and oil shale expire, sending a signal to the markets that the United States may finally be ready to up their supply. Also, the collapse of the global markets has stabilized the American dollar. In other words, we're now getting more bang for our buck.
But to forget about the heavy strain that gas prices have had on the American household and economy over the past year - from filling up the gas tank to buying groceries - would be setting ourselves up for another fuel crisis in the near future.
Today I met with local inventors and innovators in St. Cloud to discuss their work on clean and renewable energy technologies and to discuss my legislation, H.R. 6716, the Promoting New American Energy Act, that would help us pave the way to American energy independence.
The Promoting New American Energy Act would launch a wave of energy research, investment and innovation by aggressively accelerating tax depreciation for cutting-edge and renewable energy technologies – making America’s energy production more competitive with foreign nations.
Present at the St. Cloud meeting were Dave Wendorf from Sartec, a company developing algae for use as an alternative fuel; Dan Stevens, Director of Regulatory Affairs at CDC Enterprise, Inc.; David Tripp, Executive Director of Metro Transit, which adapted a bus to run on french fry oil; and Diane Moeller, principal of the Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph, where they are exploring a variety of innovative energy technologies on campus.
We need to take an All-of-the-Above approach to energy and open up our onshore and offshore oil and natural gas stockpiles, as well as pursue alternative forms of energy. To do one without the other would be self-defeating.
Driving through the district today, gas station after gas station displayed gas prices around the $2 mark. The lowest price I saw today was $2.06 in Elk River. It seems like only yesterday papers and pundits in my district and around the country were mocking the mere notion of $2 gas -- but here we are.