When President Obama took office in January of 2009, a gallon of gas cost $1.89. Today, Missourians are paying close to $4 a gallon. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Triple-A, the average price of gas has increased by 97 percent since President Obama took office. The President’s commitment to blocking American energy production is causing higher prices at the pump, taking more out of the family budget and making it more difficult for small businesses to hire new workers. It’s also making us dependent on foreign oil.
House Republicans support an “all-of the-above” energy approach that includes development of alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear, geothermal and biomass, along with clean coal and American oil and natural gas. A comprehensive plan will help protect the environment, improve our economic and natural security, help to lower gas prices and remove barriers to private sector job creation.
We want to jumpstart American energy exploration and remove government barriers like Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) red tape that are wasting billions of tax dollars. It’s time for President Obama and Senate liberals to embrace our common sense ideas to create more American energy, spur job growth, and lower prices at the gas pump.
Expanding Missouri’s energy and economic future was the topic of discussion as I met with an alliance of energy producers this week. Missourians enjoy some of the nation’s lowest energy prices and we want to keep our rates low. To that end, I am standing with this alliance, which is made up of companies and organizations that include the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, the Missouri Public Utility Alliance, and Westinghouse Electric Company. This group of energy producers is eagerly waiting on the U.S. Department of Energy to announce who will receive grant funding to build small modular nuclear reactors. I am hopeful Missouri will get that grant.
Our state is a logical choice for development of this program with its highly skilled labor pool, strong university nuclear engineering programs, successful track record of operating a nuclear facility in Callaway County, and its ideal location in the Heartland of the country to develop global component manufacturing and a distribution base. The Department of Energy has announced it will award grants by Sept. 30. If it receives funding, the alliance’s readiness committee is prepared to jump into action. This is an exciting time and I look forward to hearing the Department of Energy’s decision. I was joined by my colleagues in the Missouri Congressional Delegation in writing a letter of support for the grant, and I am hopeful we will see Missouri moving ahead with this opportunity to secure our country’s energy and economic future.
On another matter, my office is organizing our second Missouri Business Conference to help job creators and entrepreneurs collaborate to gain best practices to take their businesses to the next level. Panels of business experts will share winning ideas to grow and expand businesses. Participants will hear presentations, see exhibits, and network with others.
The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg and we are looking for exhibitors. If you’re interested in taking part, information and online registration are available at http://www.ucmo.edu/eidc/mobusconf/. You can also contact my Jefferson City office at 573-634-4884. There is no charge to exhibit, but you must register. The 2011 Missouri Business Conference was a huge success and I look forward to this year’s event. Hope to see you there!
Have a good week.